ENE Memo: July 9, 2012

From the Head: 7/9

The Year Ahead: Significant Educational Changes at Purdue

In addition to the national debate on reform in higher education and local legislative changes, a series of initiatives agreed to last year at Purdue could impact us in significant ways in the year ahead, as each involves aspects of the operation of first-year.

One is the Core Curriculum passed by the Faculty Senate in February and set to take effect by Fall 2013. The following is an extract from the policy.

"The core curriculum consists of two levels of outcomes, foundational and embedded (see Appendix A). All Purdue students are expected to meet the foundational learning outcomes from 25 to 30 credits hours of coursework that is portable across the campus. In contrast, the embedded learning outcomes are addressed within courses typically taught within a specific discipline or major. Faculty within each program area will be responsible for determining where and at what level embedded outcomes will be met within their programs. In addition, program area faculty will be solely responsible for assessing student learning on embedded outcomes within their courses." The core curriculum will be administered by the Undergraduate Curriculum Council (UCC). "As a faculty‐led structure, the UCC determines and oversees the operational guidelines associated with implementation elements of the core curriculum. The issues to be addressed by the UCC are limited to: the approval of foundational courses, establishment of guiding rules for meeting the foundational outcomes, regulating and monitoring approved courses that satisfy the foundational outcomes, review of the list of foundational and embedded outcomes, and resolution of issues related to transfer students satisfying foundational requirements." The whole policy is available on the Senate page together with some of the details.  

Another initiative is Purdue University's Foundations of Excellence: a broad-based review of the first-year experience and suggestions on how to enhance it. The preliminary Executive Summary issued in March outlines the main recommendations as follows. 

"The task force’s recommendation is that a single point of leadership be designated for undergraduate student success that has responsibility and accountability to coordinate and integrate curricular and co-curricular efforts in order to provide an intentional, cohesive first-year experience that results in success. This organization will report to the Provost and will be charged with coordinating responsibilities in three thematic areas, which are listed below and described in greater detail in the balance of this report.

  1. Specialized and heightened focus on the experiences of first-year students
  2. Coordination of curricular, co-curricular, and academic success efforts for first-year students
  3. Focus on an environment of improvement based on innovative evidence-based decision-making and scholarship

We acknowledge that this is a fundamental change to Purdue’s organizational structure. The benefit of this change is that Purdue will have an intentionally developed, coordinated, University-wide strategy that encourages students to pursue excellence and supports them in their endeavors. Thus, academic and support units will be invited to fully and collaboratively participate in the first-year experience."

A third major initiative is the creation of the Honors College. The goals of this new college are to

  1. Attract students with exceptional potential who will thrive in a nurturing and demanding academic community.
  2. Beckon imaginative and enthusiastic faculty from across the university to a great adventure in learning.
  3. Collaborate with existing school honors programs in Agriculture, Engineering, Consumer and Family Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Science; students can participate in programs at the university, school/college, and departmental level.

Locally, the Honors College will work with the College of Engineering Honors Program (CoEHP), which was established in 2010 with PK Imbrie as the founding Director. 

Many of the operational details of these three initiatives are still being worked out, so we cannot be certain precisely how they will impact ENE. However given that we are responsible for around 2500 FYE students (new and continuing) and that the total number of first-year students entering Purdue each year is around 6,600, clearly we will be engaged in the implementation of these inititatives.   


News and Information: 7/9

Nominations for College of Engineering Staff Awards

The ENE Staff Awards Committee is working to support ENE's nominations of outstanding colleagues for the College of Engineering Staff Awards. Nominees must be at least half-time employees, and the award winner must be an active ENE employee through the time of the award banquet (November 16, 2012). The committee has also determined that in order for ENE to validate a nomination, the nominee must have been a member of ENE for at least one year. This requirement is based on the need to demonstrate a record of accomplishment in ENE, to be used as supporting evidence of the worthiness of the selected nominees.   

E-mail your nomination on or before July 12 to Becky Fry, chair of the ENE Staff Awards Committee, at rlfry@purdue.edu, and include a short paragraph explaining the basis for support. The committee will consider all nominations and forward recommendations to David Radcliffe, for his final review and selection. The committee will then announce the names of the ENE nominees and the champions who will work with the nominees to prepare the nomination packages. The committee will be available to support this effort. Our final completed nominations (each including up to three letters of support) are due to the College of Engineering by September 4, 2012. Award categories are listed below:




Eligibility Groups

Available Documentation


Plaque, $500 per team member; $500 for Professional Development per team member



Nomination Form


Plaque, $1,500



Nomination Form

Professional Achievement

Plaque, $1,500



Nomination Form

Customer Service

Plaque, $1,500




Nomination Form

New Employee

Plaque, $1,000




New Policy on Volunteers

Purdue has issued a new policy (VI.B.2) on the need for volunteers to be screened.

Purdue University is committed to providing a safe environment for work, study and outreach and to upholding the reputation and integrity of the University. To that end, all Volunteers will be subject to background screening that will include, at minimum, a Sex and Violent Offender Registry Check. Any individual listed on a registry that is part of the University’s Sex and Violent Offender Registry Check or who has been convicted of an offense for which he or she must register as a sex or violent offender may not serve as a Volunteer. No department/unit may discriminate in selecting Volunteers based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, or status as a veteran.

Under federal law, individuals holding F-2, J-2 and H-4 visa statuses are prohibited from volunteering in the same departments and on similar projects as paid University employees. Individuals holding B-1 or B-2 visas are prohibited from volunteering in any capacity at the University.

New Policy on Travel Subsistence

The main change is that the rate for susbsistance on the first and last day is 75% of the full-day amount.

Reporting Outside Activities shifts Online

Faculty and staff can now disclose their Reportable Outside Activities through an online form, https://webapps.ecn.purdue.edu/VPEC/OAD/.This replaces the paper forms used previously.

As a reminder, the Conflicts of Commitment and Reportable Outside Activities (III.B.1) policy, www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiib1.html, has two purposes:

* It complies with Indiana law prohibiting ghost employment with governmental entities.
* It ensures that outside activities in which Purdue employees engage do not divert them from fulfilling their responsibilities to the University, improperly influence University decisions or operations, or conflict with institutional and public values.

To assist faculty and staff in determining what needs to be reported, the Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance provides a list of frequently asked questions at www.purdue.edu/ethics/resources.html.

Calendar: 7/9

Summer 2012
  • June 18 - July 12 - STAR (Student Transition Advising and Registration)
  • June/July - ENGR 132 Summer Section

Fall 2012

  • Aug 14 - ENE Research Advance (10am-3pm)
  • Aug 17 - New PhD student Orientation
  • Aug 20 - Classes Commence
  • Aug 23 - ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30pm
  • Sept 28 - Inaugural ENE First Year Friday (A celebration of FYE)
  • Sept 28-29 - Alumni Weekend
  • Sept  29 - Family Day (ENE Booth)
  • Oct 12-14 - Homecoming Weekend (ENE Booth and i2i Learning Lab Tours)
  • Oct 24/25 - PhD Open House (TBC)
  • Nov 1 - 2nd Annual ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium - "Where did I leave my chariot?"
  • Nov 2 - Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) - Theme: Research

National or Independence Days around the World

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.