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February 16, 2007

Purdue trustees pass resolution in support of lottery plan

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's board of trustees on Friday (Feb. 16) passed a resolution supporting a plan that would franchise Indiana's lottery to generate funds for initiatives aimed at stemming the state's "brain drain."

Noting the importance of intellectual capital and a skilled work force in enhancing the state's economy and increasing wages, the resolution endorses a scholarship program and a fund to help recruit top faculty to Indiana's public colleges and universities. These institutions, the resolution states, are "critical to increasing Hoosier incomes and enhancing innovation-based economic growth."

In January, Gov. Mitch Daniels proposed a plan to lease the state's lottery to a private company for 30 years for an upfront payment estimated at $1 billion and an annual payment of $200 million, as well as 5 percent of any annual profit the company would make above $700 million. Both the governor's original plan and a second version proposed by a group of state senators earmark proceeds from the lottery deal for the scholarship and faculty recruitment initiatives.

"What is extremely important and encouraging is that we are actively looking to find new money to direct into higher education in ways that provide educational opportunities for our students and economic opportunities for our state," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. "We support any effort that invests in our state's higher education system, which really is an investment in the state's future."

The scholarship program would provide loans to qualified students to help them attend any four-year public or private college in the state. Recipients who work in the state for at least three years after graduation would not have to repay the loans.

To recruit top faculty and researchers to the state, endowments would be established to cover salary and start-up costs for researchers and scholars recruited to Indiana's public universities from outside the state. Jischke said these faculty would not only enhance university classrooms, but also would make findings in the lab that could be transferred into products and technologies that would impact the state's economy.

Currently, more than one-third of all Hoosier postsecondary degree-holders leave Indiana after graduation, and Indiana residents earn an average of 90 cents to every dollar earned by the typical American.

"These are statistics that are cause for concern, but not despair," Jischke said. "Hoosiers, in partnership with the state's colleges and universities, have the power to enhance the economy and transform lives. We have already achieved success in this area, and with the state's continued support, we can expand on that success."

Writer: Brian Zink, (765) 494-2080, bzink@purdue.edu

Source: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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