Welcome back! We begin the 2019-20 academic year after a productive summer for the college. In June, the Lilly Endowment supported, through a $40 million grant, the joint proposal between the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and College of Engineering for an expansion of the “Engineering and Polytechnic Gateway” project that was funded by the state legislature in April. The new facility, about twice the size of Knoy Hall and slated to wrap around its south and west sides, represents the largest building project ever at Purdue. This is a huge opportunity for our college to support recent growth in enrollment and research and to continue our transformation efforts.
The University’s Ever True campaign ended June 30, 2019. The Polytechnic slightly exceeded our very ambitious goal, reaching a final total of $90.7 million. Thanks to Shari Schrader, Tammy Maynard, Beth Helton and Derek Herrmann for doing a great job raising funds on behalf of the college.
Last week, for the first time, we held a one-week onboarding session for all of our new faculty. Sixteen faculty arrived a week early to gain a deeper understanding of our college and the people and tools available to help them succeed. Special thanks to Janet Ebershoff and Katherine Prochno for organizing and managing the event, as well as to all of you who presented to and met with our new faculty.
Over the summer, we set overarching goals for the college. One aim is to reach a 95 percent one-year retention rate for our students. Last year, the Polytechnic achieved 91.2 percent retention, which was slightly above the University average. Working together is key to helping our students be successful and encouraging them to continue on their paths. I ask you to take an active role in your respective unit to help propel our retention efforts. You should be hearing soon about specific actions taken by the college and academic units to help achieve this goal.