October 2, 2020

Purdue trustees approve faculty appointments, new degree programs; honor friends of the university

Note to Journalists: Photos are available on Google Drive. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 2) approved two faculty appointments and two new degree programs. Trustees also issued resolutions of appreciation for friends of the university.

The two approved faculty positions, both in the College of Agriculture, are:

  • Maria Marshall, who was appointed the Jim and Lois Ackerman Professor in Agricultural Economics.
  • Andrea Vacca, who was appointed the Maha Fluid Power Faculty Chair.
marshall-m20 Maria Marshall

Marshall is a leading scholar in the areas of family business and rural economic development. She is the founder and director of the Purdue Institute for Family Business and Extension coordinator for the Department of Agricultural Economics. She also is director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development. Marshall has a nationally and internationally recognized Extension, research and teaching program focused on small business and family business development. Her program is one of the few that incorporates family business management with business development from entry to exit. Marshall has raised nearly $10.5 million in support of her research and Extension program. Since coming to Purdue in 2003, she has won numerous awards, including the Faculty Engagement Fellow Award from the Purdue Office of Engagement, the Leadership in Action Award from the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, the Corinne Alexander Spirit of the Land Grant Award from the College of Agriculture and the Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Award from the Agriculture and Applied Economics Association.

vacca-andrea Andrea Vacca

Vacca has an accomplished record of scholarship and leadership in the area of hydraulic fluid power and industry engagement. His professional work in Purdue’s Maha Fluid Power Research Center leads to novel solutions for high-impact areas of fluid power systems, including off-road vehicles, aerospace and automotive applications. Vacca’s research directly impacts agriculture in the state of Indiana, across the country and globally. He serves as editor in chief for the International Journal of Fluid Power, as co-chair of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Fluid Power Systems and Technology Division, and as one of the directors of the Global Fluid Power Society. Vacca is the author of more than 140 papers, most of them published in international journals or referred conferences. Among his many honors are the 2019 Joseph Bramah Medal from the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers and four Best Paper awards. Vacca has secured nearly $12.5 million in research funding since coming to Purdue in 2010.

In other action, the board approved a Bachelor of Science major in cybersecurity and a Bachelor of Science major in artificial intelligence, both on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus starting in fall 2021.

The Bachelor of Science major in cybersecurity will focus on providing an undergraduate program that will address local industry needs by delivering hands-on cybersecurity courses, many with lab components, as well as courses with a significant engineering influence.

The Bachelor of Science major in artificial intelligence will be targeted toward students who are interested in a curriculum that has artificial intelligence theory, methodologies and applications infused throughout the program. It also will target students who are interested in applications that are reliant on artificial intelligence technologies, such as robotics, autonomous systems, intelligent control and smart systems and devices.

Additionally, the board approved resolutions of appreciation for those who recently contributed $1 million or more to the university. Those are Maureen Hughes, to support the College of Veterinary Medicine; Lillian and Jim Thomas, to support the College of Pharmacy; R. Daniel Zieg, to support Intercollegiate Athletics; and three anonymous gifts, two to support the College of Engineering and one to support the Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Trustees also approved changing the name of the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital to the Caesars Entertainment Equine Specialty Hospital. Caesars purchased Centaur in 2018 and will continue pledge payments formally held by Centaur through December 2021. The Caesars Entertainment Equine Specialty Hospital is an approximately 17,000-square-foot horse veterinary hospital in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Additionally, trustees approved the following appointments:

  • Gary Lehman as vice chair for the Purdue Board of Trustees.
  • Michael Klipsch as board delegate to the Purdue Research Foundation Board.
  • Theresa Carter as board delegate to the Purdue Global Board of Trustees.
  • Glenn Borden, Howard Chapman, Mike Gavin and David Molfenter as directors for the Purdue Fort Wayne Foundation.

Furthermore, the board adopted a resolution regarding updates to the university process for selecting its student trustee. Purdue Student Government and current student trustee Noah Scott codified the function of the Purdue University Student Trustee Search and Screening Committee to review applications, interview candidates and forward 10 finalists to the governor pursuant to Indiana Code.

Additionally, trustees approved revised criteria for the nomination process for honorary doctorate degrees. Candidates chosen for eligibility will exemplify Purdue’s values as an institution, unwavering integrity and uncompromising character, and will meet the following three criteria: professional accomplishment, commitment to serve, and commitment to Purdue and the state of Indiana.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.

Sources: Jay Akridge, akridge@purdue.edu

Christine Armes, CEArmes@prf.org

April Heady, ADHeaddy@prf.org

Maria Marshall, mimarsha@purdue.edu

Andrea Vacca, avacca@purdue.edu 

Journalists visiting campus: Journalists should follow Protect Purdue protocols and the following guidelines:

  • Campus is open, but the number of people in spaces may be limited. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you may be asked to step out or report from another location.
  • To enable access, particularly to campus buildings, we recommend you contact the Purdue News Service media contact listed on the release to let them know the nature of the visit and where you will be visiting. A News Service representative can facilitate safe access and may escort you on campus.
  • Correctly wear face masks inside any campus building, and correctly wear face masks outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-20 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at purduenews@purdue.edu.