Purdue President Mitch Daniels is promoting ten things to make the university better. Those are based on its current strengths. More investment in the College of Engineering, bolstering computer science, and transforming the College of Technology into the Purdue Polytechnic Institute are some of the targets.
Daniels says the new institute will allow students to do more experiential learning.
“We’re talking about four year degrees, but simply a different way of achieving them, a different sort of learning. All still preliminary but they’re [college administrators] very excited about the possibilities.”
Other initiatives include moving to a year-round trimester calendar, doubling the number of students who study abroad, and increasing housing options so more students can live on campus.
“The further we move toward the year-round university, the more possible it would be to educate more students in the same space at the same capacity, so there’s another direction from which some increase in the total could come,” Daniels says. “But for now, we’re still assuming – more or less – stable, total undergraduate population.”
He says the costs are unknown for most of the ideas he’s outlined, but says the university should be able to provide initial funding, with other revenue options coming forward after the programs are in place.
Investing in drug discovery and advancing plant science research are two of the initiatives to be highlighted Thursday morning at the president’s forum.
“At a time when the state and nation are crying for more engineers, computer scientists, technologically adept people – and Purdue is very good at this – we really ought to see how much we could do,” Daniels says. “Clearly there is a need in delivering world-class research.”
He says keeping college affordable will be an ongoing effort. To do that, the university plans to continue improving administrative efficiency and offer more scholarships to students of all economic backgrounds.