Trustees make moves on “Purdue Moves”

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Board of Trustees is making moves on the “Purdue Moves.” It’s all an effort to advance the university’s new initiatives, including the expansion of the College of Engineering and student affordability.

“So many things are happening. The Purdue Moves is really starting to see its impact. Of course, we are supporting that with a lot of expansions in the facilities,” said Chair of the Physical Facilities Committee Gary Lehman.

On Thursday, the Physical Facilities Committee approved three major projects that will be part of the College of Engineering’s strategic growth plan. The $76.2 million expansion is one of the biggest initiatives. The committee voted to construct and renovate three research facilities on campus, including a $54 million flex lab.

“We developed a concept called flex lab. It will allow access to laboratories for our new faculty members in engineering and will also allow more versatile use of our laboratories by all faculty members,” explained Lehman.

The Finance Committee approved the 2015 Conceptual Budget, which includes funds for the Purdue Moves. That means $9 million will go to the College of Engineering to hire additional faculty and make improvements to facilities. Dean of Engineering Leah Jamieson said more than 100 new faculty members will be hired.

“Our student enrollment keeps growing and the demand for a Purdue engineering degree has never been in more demand,. We’re going to meet that challenge by growing the faculty and now growing the facilities as well,” said Jamieson.

The conceptual budget also allocates $12.3 million dollars to student affordability, another Purdue Move. The fiscal year 2015 general budget is expected to be about $1.24 billion systemwide. The final budget will be presented to the trustees in September.

Other news from the committee meetings includes:

  • The Academic Affairs Committee approved a one-year extension to continue managing Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. Right now, there is a study underway of IPFW’s governance by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. Depending on the results of the study, the regional campus could eventually break away. That study is expected to be complete this summer.
  • The Physical Facilities Committee approved the planning of the $10 million Agronomy Center Automated Phenotyping and Seed Processing Laboratory. The center will be used for plant analysis and research.
  • The Physical Facilities Committee also approved preparatory actions that will result in a new residence hall for the university’s new Honors College. The hall will be located at the southwest corner of Russell and Third Streets.
  • The Physical Facilities Committee also approved a legislative capital request for 2015-2017 and a 10-year capital plan. The 10-year plan includes 24 projects, totaling $1.2 billion in West Lafayette and 43 projects, totaling $1.8 billion systemwide.

President Daniels is scheduled to ask the trustees to freeze tuition for a third straight year. The full board will vote on these measures at the regular meeting on Friday.

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