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January 2007

Dear Purdue Partners,

As I write this month's letter, Chip Rutledge, Purdue's vice president for research, is leading a Purdue delegation that is in India to finalize an agreement with that country's Department of Science and Technology. The agreement will lead to formal research collaborations and exchanges of researchers, students and faculty among Purdue and Indian universities.

You might wonder why - with so many challenges at home - Purdue is investing time and resources in a faraway nation. But in a world in which we can share vast amounts of information instantly, the distances that matter are not measured in miles but in degrees of accessibility. When I visited India in 2004, I was amazed at the changes occurring there. This is a vast and dynamic nation with an English-speaking population of more than a billion that has committed itself to a free-market economy. The government, private business and the people have recognized that education - especially in the sciences and technology - is the key to prosperity through full participation in a global economy.

India sends more students to Purdue than any other foreign nation, and many of our outstanding professors and administrators were born in that country and now are American citizens. Of the 4,824 international students enrolled at Purdue in the current academic year, there are 1,085 students from India, followed by China (767), South Korea (722), Taiwan (231) and Indonesia (204). Purdue also has more than 85 faculty of Indian origin.

However, the impacts of research partnerships and student connections with India and other countries go far beyond Purdue's campus. The initiative being pursued now by Chip Rutledge and his colleagues is sowing seeds that in the not-too-distant future may blossom into new partnerships for businesses in Indiana and other parts of America, new markets, research ideas that can be developed by companies here, and new markets for our products to India's growing middle class that already numbers more than 300 million people.

India, of course, is only the example that happens to be timely because of Purdue's current initiative. There are tremendous opportunities to work with the people, governments, businesses and institutions of nations in both hemispheres. As more and more people join the vast global network that technology is tying together, our ability to exchange knowledge, work together from great distances, and understand one another grows. The opportunities are social, political, diplomatic and educational, as well as economic.

At Purdue, we have worked to increase the numbers of American students studying abroad for part of their education, as well as to build research partnerships, offer Purdue programs in other countries and include international students in our enrollment here. These efforts open opportunities and foster positive relationships, but they also enhance the educational experience for all our students. They are better-prepared to live and work in a global society because of their exposure to those from other nations and cultures.

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Purdue University's Krannert School of Management received significant international recognition on January 29 when its MBA program was ranked among the top 15 MBA rankings worldwide in a pair of categories included in a Financial Times of London survey.

The Krannert School placed ninth worldwide in top salaries in industry and ranked 12th worldwide in placement success. The placement number measured the percentage of 2002 alumni who gained employment with the help of career services.

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