Newsroom Search Newsroom home Newsroom Archive
Purdue News

* Purdue's new president 'out of this world
* McCartney named Purdue's IT vice president, chief information officer

July 6, 2007

Purdue trustees honor 1 distinguished and 2 named professors, ratify administrators, approve degrees

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees on Friday (July 6) approved the appointments of one distinguished and two named professors, a vice president for information technology, and deans at the Calumet, Fort Wayne and North Central campuses.

The board also appointed incoming president France A. Córdova as full professor with tenure in the College of Science's Department of Physics. Córdova, an internationally known astrophysicist, will begin serving as Purdue's 11th president on July 16.

Download photo

The board ratified bachelor's degree programs in electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology at Purdue's New Albany location. Bachelor's degree programs in mechanical engineering technology at the Columbus location and mechanical engineering at the North Central campus also were ratified.

Mark Bagnoli was named Olson Chair in Management in the Krannert School of Management. Gebisa Ejeta is the Distinguished Professor of Agronomy in the Department of Agronomy. Beverly Davenport Sypher is the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence in the Discovery Learning Center in Discovery Park.

The three newest appointments bring the university's total of named and distinguished professors to 143.

"We're very proud to add these top-level educators to our list of distinguished professors," Purdue Provost Sally Mason said. "Purdue excels as a leader among universities because of faculty like these who distinguish themselves through their research, teaching and leadership."

Download photo

Bagnoli, a professor of management and economics, has been at Purdue since 1999. He also has taught at the universities of Michigan and Western Ontario and Indiana and Michigan State universities.

His research interests include analytic models of financial reporting, information economics and applied game theory, and empirical work in capital markets. He teaches tax strategy and financial statement analysis in the MBA program, and the managerial analytical seminar and the financial analytical seminar in the accounting doctoral program.

Bagnoli has published in numerous accounting, finance and economics journals and serves as an occasional reviewer for more than 30 accounting, finance and economics journals. His research has been cited in such publications as USA Today, Business Week, U.S.News and World Report, CFO Magazine and Bloomberg News.

Download photo

Ejeta has been a professor at Purdue, his alma mater, since 1984. His research group focuses on the genetic analysis and breeding of sorghum for resistance to the major biotic and abiotic stresses including drought, plant diseases and the parasitic weed called striga. The research also includes the nutritional quality of sorghum, its potential for use for alternative energy, as well as management and exploitation of genetic resources and influence of gene flow in crop species. He has collaborated with several universities and institutes, both in the United States and abroad. He has served on technical and management advisory boards of several institutions including the consultative group of the international agricultural research centers, the food and agricultural organization of the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Agricultural Research Services of several countries.

He has been published in several journals and has numerous national and international honors.

Ejeta earned a bachelor's degree in plant sciences from Alemaya College in Ethiopia in 1973 and master's and doctoral degrees in plant breeding and genetics from Purdue in 1976 and 1978.

Download photo

Sypher, associate provost for special initiatives, has primary responsibilities for faculty affairs and academic leadership development. She serves as Purdue's liaison for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation's Academic Leadership Program. Sypher, also a professor in the Department of Communication and interim director for the Discovery Learning Center, has been at Purdue since 2002. 

She has authored numerous articles on organizational communication, published two books on the contemporary American workplace and has a third book in press. She has served as chair of the organizational communication division of the National Communication Association and on the board of directors for the International Communication Association.

Her research also spans health and technology fields, including funded research for health-related entertainment education in the Peruvian Amazon and telemedicine and telehospice in the United States. Sypher has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than $9 million of externally funded research and has won numerous awards for teaching excellence.

Sypher earned a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan and bachelor's degrees in communication and journalism from Western Kentucky University. Before arriving at Purdue, she was a senior fellow in the Office of the Provost at Virginia Tech University, divisional dean for the social sciences at the University of Kansas and chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky.

Download photo

Gerry McCartney's appointment as vice president for information technology and chief information officer was announced on May 31. He had served those roles in an interim capacity since July 2006. He is responsible for overseeing the office of Information Technology at Purdue. Before his appointment, McCartney had served two years as assistant dean for technology at Purdue's Krannert School of Management.

The trustees also approved the appointments of Niaz Latif as dean of the School of Technology and professor of mechanical engineering technology at Purdue Calumet, George S. McClellan as vice chancellor for student affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and S. Rex Morrow as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue North Central.

Latif was named assistant dean of administration and budget for statewide technology in Purdue's College of Technology in 2006. He also was head of the Department of Industrial Technology, special assistant to the dean and director of the weekend master's program in the College of Technology. He also has held faculty positions at Northern Kentucky and Louisiana State universities.

McClellan had been vice president for student development at Dickinson State University and also had served at the University of Arizona and Northwestern University before arriving at the Fort Wayne campus. He is responsible for providing leadership in areas such as academic advising, career services, center for women and adult learners, child care center, dean of students, judicial affairs, multicultural and international services, and personal counseling. He also serves roles in services for students with disabilities, student government, orientation, and student life and testing services. He helps provide leadership for the first-year experience program.

Morrow was previously chairman of the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Health Sciences at Bradley University. Among his major accomplishments there, he revised a new dual-certification program for special and elementary education and coordinated the development and implementation of six new graduate certificate programs in the department in conjunction with the Bradley graduate school. He was chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at Illinois State University. His administrative experience includes being a member of the Board of Examiners, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and being a member of the selection panel for the Jacob K. Javits National Fellowship Program in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The trustees also approved degree programs in electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology at New Albany, and mechanical engineering technology at the Columbus campus. The programs will be under the administration of Purdue Statewide Technology at West Lafayette.

The four-year degree in electrical engineering technology is currently offered at West Lafayette, and the Kokomo and South Bend statewide locations. However, Mason said the program is needed in the New Albany area because the demand for electrical engineers is increasing and the closest baccalaureate program offered is at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The four-year degree in mechanical engineering technology is currently offered only at the West Lafayette campus.

First-year enrollment in each of the programs is projected to be at 40 with an enrollment of 55 students by the fifth year.

The trustees also extended the freshman engineering program at the North Central campus to a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. The freshman program at North Central has existed more than 30 years. Students who went through the freshman program then transferred to a campus that offers bachelor's degrees. This extension, which came about with local business and residents' input, will allow students to stay in the region and would result in substantial cost savings, Mason said. Enrollment is expected to be 30 students in the first year and increase to 85 by the fifth.

The new programs are subject to approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Writer: Jim Bush (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Sally Mason , (765) 494-9709,

Mark Bagnoli, (765) 494-4482,

Gebisa Ejeta, (765) 494-4320,

Gerry McCartney, (765) 496-2270,

Beverly Sypher, (765) 494-9709,

Niaz Latif, (765) 496-9468,

George McClellan, (260) 481-6844,

S. Rex Morrow,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

To the News Service home page

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue News Service at