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Purdue inaugural launches new efforts for students, ‘discovery with delivery’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue President France A. Córdova introduced a number of new initiatives, including ones to enhance student success and provide better channels to encourage interdisciplinary research, during her inaugural address Friday (April 11) at the Elliott Hall of Music.

France A. Córdova

Purdue President France A. Córdova acknowledges applause after she receives the university’s charter, presidential medallion and university mace during her inauguration ceremony Friday (April 11) at Elliott Hall of Music. Among those on stage include former Purdue presidents Martin C. Jischke, Steven C. Beering and Arthur G. Hansen. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

Córdova, who became Purdue’s 11th president in July, said helping both undergraduate and graduate students succeed is a top priority, along with fostering an environment in which Purdue discoveries can be put to use to help solve the world’s challenges in a process she calls “discovery with delivery.”

“As a research university, Purdue’s goal is to be at the forefront of discovering new knowledge,” she said. “As a land-grant university, Purdue’s goal is to take the knowledge created by the faculty on campus to the larger world outside the university, where it can make a difference for society.”

Córdova outlined several of her proposals and goals for Purdue, which include:

* Creating a “super project” that would partner Purdue’s office of research with its office of engagement and the Purdue Research Park to galvanize economic developments to create a more robust and collaborative infrastructure for innovation, engagement and learning.

* Establishing an institute for public policy and global affairs that could help in the transfer of new knowledge in engineering, physical and life sciences to the public. This would be done by engaging social scientists, education and business faculty to assess the potential impact this knowledge would have on society.

* Expanding the number of students who are credentialed in innovation and entrepreneurship.

* Enhancing seed funding for so-called “blue-sky research” that brings together people from across the university into collaborative research initiatives.

* Boosting the infrastructure for interdisciplinary research, such as at Purdue’s Discovery Park, to reduce barriers that prevent faculty from working together.

* Strengthening pathways from discovery to development and delivery by pumping new discoveries into Purdue’s existing and future commercial research parks.

* Helping undergraduate students during their first two years by creating shared intellectual learning experiences, centralizing services and resources via a student “hub,” and promoting and rewarding innovation in teaching.

* Transforming all of Purdue’s “gateway classes” (also known as “weed-out” classes) that contain hundreds of students into smaller classes that engage students and create exciting venues for learning, especially in the sciences.

* Expanding and creating opportunities for every student to travel abroad and engage in service-learning and research projects.

* Moving toward a core curriculum, which could include creating a “university college” that would serve as a first-year alternative to declaring a major immediately.

* Increasing the stipends for graduate students and creating a support center devoted to their academic progress and personal well-being.

Those attending Friday’s inaugural included several dignitaries, including Indiana Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman; former Purdue presidents Arthur Hansen, Steven Beering and Martin Jischke; Marye Ann Fox, chancellor of the University of California – San Diego; Dan Goldin, former administrator at NASA; members of the Purdue board of trustees; Purdue regional campus chancellors; and various state and community leaders.

The inauguration ceremony capped off a week of events and announcements on the Purdue campus.

Earlier on Friday, concurrent faculty and researcher discussions were held on the interdisciplinary topics of video game-based learning, the environment and nanotechnology.

On Thursday (April 10), global leaders in education spoke at the Global University Convocation moderated by Purdue alumnus and C-SPAN President Brian Lamb.

On Wednesday (April 9), Córdova announced a new $304 million campaign called Access and Success that will expand student aid and programs.

Other events during the week follow:

* April 3 – The Regenstrief Foundation and Purdue announced that they will expand their partnership in designing a new solution for the nation’s health-care system. The foundation is investing an additional $11 million over the next five years toward the partnership.

* April 6 – Purdue announced a $4 million pledge to help build a new home for Purdue Musical Organizations.

* April 7 – The Purdue Research Park broke ground on a nearly 13-acre expansion for which the wife of a Purdue alumnus has donated $3 million to help fund the $14.5 million Purdue Technology Center II building.

* April 7 – A $1 million gift from the Paul Ogle Foundation to benefit the College of Technology at New Albany was announced.

* April 8 – A $2 million gift that will benefit the College of Technology and Purdue Libraries was announced.

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