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Purdue's Global Policy Research Institute prepares for transition

Purdue University

The inaugural director of the Global Policy Research Institute at Purdue is preparing for his departure. Dr. Arden Bement leaves the position December 31.

The former head of the National Science Foundation returned to Purdue in 2010 to lead the Institute. He says his decision was based partly on the proposed faculty involvement and the interdisciplinary nature of the organization.

“The Institute was initially conceived around seven major themes, which represent strengths at Purdue,” he says. “It was fully scoped at the outset by the faculty. They developed the business plan to cover the first two years of operation.”

He says his initial focus was to implement the plan and its goals, but now the focus is on capacity building by involving more faculty and students.

While Bement is stepping down, he’s not retiring. He says he has plenty to keep him busy, so a life of leisure is not in the near future. Bement will continue to serve on the Institute’s external advisory council and do technology policy work and research.

“I also have accepted board positions with two universities, so I will still be involved with academia,” he says. “I’m currently active in two studies for the National Research Council, which deals with national security.”

Bement says his successor will need to work on involving more faculty members with the Institute, promoting policy-related content in course work at the university, and building the Institute’s reputation among policy-makers in government.

The search for the next director of Global Policy Research Institute at Purdue is going well. That’s the assessment of College of Agriculture Dean Jay Akridge, who chairs the committee handling the search.

He says there was a strong pool of applicants and telephone interviews are underway. Akridge says the goal is to have on-campus interviews in February.

In the meantime, College of Technology Dean-emeritus Dennis Depew will serve as interim director of the Global Policy Research Institute.

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