Purdue University: Purdue’s new faculty appointments reach an all-time high, driven by record enrollment, investment


Andrea Hayes had familial ties that made an opportunity very appealing to join Purdue University’s faculty as an assistant professor focusing on public health literacy in the Libraries and School of Information Studies.

Her mother, Stephanie Allen, gained her Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue. And Hayes knew Purdue’s commitment to teaching and scholarship would make an offer from the Big Ten school too attractive to resist leaving the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“The atmosphere of Purdue Libraries, the comradery from the very minute I arrived during my visit was overwhelmingly positive,” said Hayes, an expert in public health literacy among the underrepresented and underserved populations, who has degrees from North Carolina Central and Columbus State universities.

Hayes joins a class of new faculty that’s now in Purdue’s history books: 213 new faculty are joining Purdue, the most ever in a single year, added to expand Purdue’s research capacity and to work with the more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate Boilermaker students for Fall 2022, an expected eighth consecutive year for record enrollment.

Through 281 faculty searches the past year at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus:

213 new faculty members have been hired — the most ever.
84 among the 213 new faculty members were brought to Purdue through new investments as part of Purdue’s enrollment growth initiative, the Equity Task Force cluster hire program or other strategic initiatives.
“These are indeed exciting times at Purdue, a landmark year with the record levels of investment we are making in our faculty, drawing the best and brightest scholars, teachers and researchers from across the nation and world to be a part of our Boilermaker family,” said Jay Akridge, Purdue provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity.

“The rising tide from our record student enrollment growth resulting from our persistent affordability and accessibility efforts is creating the commensurate demand to bolster our faculty numbers, to enhance our commitment to quality learning and competitive student-to-faculty ratios in our classrooms. With these new faculty, we are dramatically expanding our research capabilities as well.”

As part of these record faculty numbers, 37 are arriving through Purdue’s successful dual-career assistance program, which provides funding to departments and colleges for spouses and partners of faculty members who are seeking faculty and nonfaculty appointments, said Peter Hollenbeck, Purdue vice provost for faculty affairs.

Joining Purdue this fall as an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, Taimoor Qazi points to the University’s ideal research environment, particularly the strong culture promoting interdepartmental collaboration, for advancing his research program in engineering biomaterials for musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

“I was very impressed with the facilities and laboratories, opportunities for collaborations between different schools and departments, and the high quality of students and staff support available here at Purdue. That made the decision to kickstart my independent research career at Purdue an easy one to make, and one that I am very excited about,” said Qazi, who comes to Purdue after spending three years at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Being part of the largest class of incoming faculty ever just goes on to show that Purdue has big plans for the future and is walking the talk with investing in young faculty who are aiming to make big advances in their fields of research,” Qazi added.

Moreover, there’s a major story within the story of Purdue’s record-setting new faculty class.

As part of one of the largest faculty hiring initiatives in Purdue’s history, 11 new faculty are arriving through a cluster hire effort that spans six departments in three colleges in the areas of public health, health policy and health equity, Hollenbeck said.

These faculty are being welcomed through this comprehensive five-year, $75 million Equity Task Force initiative, a Purdue Moves 2.0 effort aimed at advancing diversity in research, thought and representation among the university’s faculty, staff and student ranks. Of the 11 Purdue faculty members beginning this fall through this initiative, six are Black.

And for the just-started fiscal year 2023, Purdue expects another year of record levels of hiring activity, with 239 planned faculty searches, including 89 positions newly funded through the enrollment growth and other strategic initiatives, Hollenbeck said.

For this fall, Purdue projects record enrollment of more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students; official enrollment figures for the semester will be released in early September. That follows Fall 2021 enrollment of an all-time high 49,639 students, including a record 10,191 freshmen, representing all 50 states and 130 countries.

With affordability and accessibility at the forefront of its mission and buoyed by record enrollment figures for eight consecutive years, Purdue has kept tuition at 2012-13 levels of $9,992 per year for Indiana residents and $28,794 for out-of-state students for 11 consecutive years. And Purdue’s commitment to hold the line on tuition will run at least through 2023.

Incoming professors at the West Lafayette campus participated in a New Faculty Orientation on Aug. 18, hosted by the Office of the Provost. New faculty received a welcome from Provost Akridge and heard presentations on a variety of subjects such as tenure and promotion; teaching at Purdue; campus climate; research and partnerships; equity, diversity and belonging; and engagement. They also attended an information fair throughout the daylong event.

Brief profiles of many of the new faculty members, by way of welcome and introduction, are presented by the Office of the Provost and Purdue Today.

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