Purdue University

06/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2024 07:50

Purdue trustees ratify faculty positions; approve new degree programs, posthumous degrees, resolutions of appreciation and compensation terms for basketball coaches

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (June 7) ratified faculty appointments and approved new degree programs, posthumous degrees and resolutions of appreciation.

The newly ratified faculty appointments are:

  • Michael Childress as the Evan and Sue Ann Werling Professor of Comparative Oncology
  • William Johnson as the Corteva Agriscience Henry A. Wallace Chair in Crop Sciences

Childress joined the faculty in the College of Veterinary Medicine'sDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences in 2009. His research focuses on developing new therapies and identifying novel prognostic and predictive biomarkers for canine lymphomas.​ Childress is a member of the Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Cancer Society, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Purdue Institute for Cancer Research and Indiana Veterinary Medical Association. His honors and awards include the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Excellence in Service Award, Purdue Veterinary Medicine Excellence in Research Award and the Veterinary Clinical Science Department Award for Excellence in Resident Mentoring.

Johnson joined the faculty in the College of Agriculture'sDepartment of Botany and Plant Pathology in 2002. His research focuses on developing weed management systems that are economically and environmentally sound, integrating cultural practices with judicious herbicide use, improving efficiency of production and minimizing selection pressure for herbicide-resistant weeds. He is also interested in promoting grower acceptance of these weed management systems through education efforts targeting growers, crop consultants, input suppliers, industry representatives and Extension educators in Indiana and surrounding states. Johnson is a member of the North Central Weed Science Society and Weed Science Society of America. Some of his honors and awards include the 2023 Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land-Grant Mission Award, multiple Seed for Success Research Awards, several Outstanding Extension Specialist Awards and several Outstanding Graduate Educator Awards.

In other action, trustees approved five new degree programs:

  • A Master of Science in robotics technology degree program will begin at Purdue West Lafayette in fall 2024. Whereas robotics is traditionally studied across different disciplines, Purdue Polytechnic Institute'sSchool of Engineering Technology uses a transdisciplinary approach. Bringing together the foundational pillars of sensing, computing and actuating, the new program will enable students to study robotics under one umbrella. It also addresses increased demand for advanced-level degrees from both in-state and international students, while complementing Purdue's Institute for Physical Artificial Intelligence by building on the university's existing strengths in robotics.
  • A PhD in robotics technology degree program will begin at Purdue West Lafayette in fall 2024. Building upon the existing bachelor's and newly announced master's degree programs, the PhD program will further address demand in the field while encouraging current degree-seeking students to pursue advanced-level degrees. The program, which includes concentrations in mechatronics and smart manufacturing, will complement Purdue's Institute for Physical AI and enable the creation of minors and certificates for students outside the Polytechnic Institute.
  • A Master of Science in software engineering degree program, which will be offered fully online through the Purdue West Lafayette campus, will begin with the spring 2025 semester. The demand for individuals with a master's degree in software engineering is robust, and Purdue is well equipped to lead in this domain, given its top five engineering ranking by U.S. News & World Report. In partnership with the College of Science, this interdisciplinary, collaborative degree program combines elements of the existing Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering and computer science degree programs, which emphasize software engineering, allowing students to tailor their degree to meet their professional goals.
  • A Doctor of Engineering degree program, which will be offered fully online through the Purdue West Lafayette campus, will begin with the spring 2025 semester. The program addresses a growing demand for highly skilled engineers by creating a pipeline to an advanced degree for existing online master's students, as well as working professionals looking to maintain their professional commitments. Leveraging the strength of Purdue's highly ranked online and in-residence engineering offerings, the 90-credit-hour program features research methodology coursework, advanced mathematics and statistics, a wide variety of engineering courses, and a culminating research project.
  • A Master of Science in applied artificial intelligence degree program will begin at Purdue University Northwest in fall 2024. Fueled by rapid technological advancements, improved computational power and the fast growth of digital data generated, there is a growing need for professionals with advanced AI skills, both in Indiana and nationwide. The applied AI program addresses those needs by preparing students for high-demand careers in the artificial intelligence field while targeting regional demand in the broader Purdue Northwest service area.

Trustees awarded posthumous degrees to Sameer Kamath (non-thesis Master of Science in mechanical engineering) and Sara Brown (non-thesis Master of Science in human development and family science), both from Purdue West Lafayette. A posthumous degree requires that at least 85% of the credit hour requirements have been completed, including most of the requirements for the major.

Trustees also approved resolutions of appreciation for friends of the university who recently contributed $1 million or more to Purdue. Those are:

  • James Tarpo Jr. and Margaret Tarpo, to support the College of Science
  • Sandra Bish, to support the College of Science
  • Robert and Amy Martin, to support Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Brooke Patterson, to support the College of Pharmacy
  • Mary Anne Davidson, to support the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business
  • Ronald and Susan Dollens, to support the College of Pharmacy and the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business
  • Marvin and Melanie Richardson, to support the College of Pharmacy
  • Hugh Brian Underwood and Carol Blacutt-Underwood, to support the School of Materials Engineering
  • Two anonymous gifts, to support the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering
  • An anonymous gift, to support the School of Industrial Engineering and the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research

In recognizing these donors, trustees further approved the following namings:

  • James Tarpo Jr. and Margaret Tarpo Department of Chemistry - James earned his bachelor's degree from the College of Science in 1959. The couple will also establish an endowment in the Department of Chemistry.
  • Mark S. Davidson Rising Star Professorship in the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business - Named in honor of Mary Anne Davidson's late husband, who earned his associate degree in 1968 and bachelor's degree in 1970 from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.
  • Ron and Susie Dollens Chair in Integrated Business and Engineering in the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business - The Dollenses both earned bachelor's degrees, Ron from the College of Pharmacy in 1970 and Susie from the College of Education in 1970.
  • Blacutt-Underwood Head of Materials Engineering - Hugh Brian Underwood earned his bachelor's degree from the School of Materials Engineering in 1988.

Additionally, trustees approved compensation terms for head men's basketball coach Matt Painter for each of the next five years of his five-year rolling contract, as well as compensation terms for head women's basketball coach Katie Gearlds under a two-year contract extension to June 30, 2029.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue's main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap - including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, Purdue Computes and the One Health initiative- at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

Sources: Patrick Wolfe, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity

Steve Schultz, senior vice president and general counsel

April Headdy, President's Council executive director, Purdue for Life Foundation

Michael Childress

William Johnson