Purdue University names Chiang its next president

The Purdue Board of Trustees announced June 10 its unanimous election of Dr. Mung Chiang, currently the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, as the university’s next president. Dr. Chiang will replace current president Mitch Daniels effective Jan. 1, 2023.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Board of Trustees announced today (June 10) its unanimous election of Dr. Mung Chiang, currently the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, as the university’s next president. Dr. Chiang will replace current president Mitch Daniels effective Jan. 1, 2023. Daniels has served since January 2013.

During Chiang’s five years at Purdue, he has led the College of Engineering to the pinnacle of excellence at scale: the first back-to-back top 4 graduate ranking in the U.S. even as it has grown dramatically at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Purdue is currently ranked No. 4 among graduate programs, No. 3 for online programs, and No. 10 for undergraduate education, and is the largest undergraduate program in the nation’s top 10. Both government and industry-sponsored research funding have set new records, as do the 12 national research centers now housed at the university. 

Mung Chiang
Mung Chiang, John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, is Purdue's president-elect.

Meanwhile, Chiang has played a central role in establishing new relationships with federal agencies in the national security and economic development sectors, and in recruiting new companies to invest and create jobs in Purdue’s Discovery Park District. He spent 2020 as scientific and technology advisor to the U.S. secretary of state on a prestigious Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointment.

Chiang earned a B.S. (Hons.) in electrical engineering and mathematics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He came to Purdue from Princeton University, where in his role as the Arthur LeGrand Professor of Electrical Engineering, he was recognized for a number of innovations in teaching and was the first chairman of Princeton’s Entrepreneurial Council. The holder of 25 patents, he founded three companies and was named New Jersey’s CEO of the Year in 2014. Among many other academic honors, Chiang received the Alan T. Waterman Award in 2013 as the nation’s top scientist under the age of 40 for his excellence in edge computing, internet congestion, cloud and video optimization, and other research areas.  Chiang’s research publications have received over 30,000 citations with an H-index of 81. He has graduated more than 50 Ph.D. students and postdocs, including 24 who have become faculty in research universities. His full biography can be read on the Purdue University College of Engineering website.

Chiang will lead a transition of his duties as dean, while continuing his strategic initiatives assignment.

Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Berghoff said, “Mung is the ideal choice to lead Purdue into its next ‘giant leap.’ The board could not be more confident in this selection, as we have had the opportunity to observe his performance across a broad range of duties for five years. 

“He has displayed not only academic excellence but also administrative acumen, effective relationship-building with academic, governmental, and business partners, and the skills of public communications. He brings the entire package of talents and experience necessary to take our university further forward. It is no surprise that Mung has been offered the presidency of several other schools, and the board is grateful that his loyalty to Purdue kept him here and available as this time of transition arrived.”

Berghoff thanked President Daniels for his service, saying, “The last decade has seen Purdue attain unprecedented levels of national recognition, reflected in record enrollments, academic rankings, and overall reputation.

To focus on presidential transition in the next six months, Chiang stepped down from Deanship of the College of Engineering on June 30, 2022. Mark Lundstrom, the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the Interim Dean of Engineering, starting July 1.

Statement from Dr. Mung Chiang

“It is the highest and most humbling honor to be selected by the Board of Trustees as the next president of Purdue University: the unique and most remarkable land grant institution in the land of the free. Throughout the past 153 years, and spanning from Wabash River to the Moon, generations of Boilermakers contributed to our state, to our country, and to humanity in immeasurable ways. There is no other place like Purdue.

“And there is no other university leader like ours. President Daniels and the outstanding team built Purdue into the most consequential public university in the United States. Under Mitch’s transformational leadership, our university attained the strongest academic reputation, from record-breaking enrollment to all-time-high research excellence, from the Ever True campaign to the transformed campus. Purdue led the country in safely reopening during the pandemic, while its financial foundation is fortified stronger than ever before. But there’s even more. Mitch is also the most innovative president in America: affordability through tuition freeze, 21st century land grant through Purdue Global, and economic growth in Indiana through entrepreneurship and the Discovery Park District in West Lafayette.

"The amazing success of the Daniels’ Decade must continue. While my family and I are blessed with the pride of gold and black, I’m also humbled by a daunting task: to ensure the continuity of today’s momentum into the next giant leaps. I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the Purdue team in the past five years, and to grow the range of service as an EVP, but there’s much more that I need to keep learning, like a student, from each of you. In the next seven months and beyond, my responsibilities start with listening, to students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, and state, national and global partners, to all friends and families of Purdue.

“Neil Armstrong said, “Knowledge is fundamental to all human achievement and progress.” A university creates a time when lives are lifted by student access and success. My own life was lifted out of scarcity because of education. A university preserves a place for all minds in pursuit of open inquiry. And I’m ever grateful for the honor to dedicate myself in service of the talents at our university. As an immigrant living the American dream and as a citizen of this greatest nation in human history, I am also proud to serve, in higher education as I did in the U.S. State Department, the best hope for freedom and opportunity in the 'shining city on a hill.'

“Opportunities and challenges are intensifying for American higher education, from the modality and value of learning to R&D investment by the government and private sector. We are confident that the entire Purdue system, across all campuses and all units, will innovate together and excel together: one brick at a time, toward boundless potential in the Boilermaker future.

“Hail Our Purdue!”

Selected significant accomplishments of the Mitch Daniels presidency

  • Frozen tuition for unprecedented 11 years through 2022-23.
    • March 2013: Just seven weeks into his presidency, President Daniels announces a two-year tuition freeze to address rising college costs and concerns over affordability. This marks the first time tuition will not go up since 1976.
  • Launch of bold initiatives and university priorities: Purdue Moves in 2013 and Purdue’s Next Moves in 2021.
  • Acquisition, launch and growth of Purdue University Global.
  • Creation of Purdue Polytechnic High Schools, now three schools strong in Indianapolis and South Bend.
  • Commitment to Freedom of Expression, with Purdue becoming the first public institution of higher education to adopt a free speech policy called the “Chicago principles.”
  • Conception and championship of the growth and expansion of the Discovery Park District at Purdue.
  • New vital partnerships and corporate locations, including Rolls-Royce, Saab, Schweitzer Engineering Labs.
  • Record innovation and commercialization activity, including growth in patents and startups based on Purdue faculty and student research and discovery.
  • Transformation of the State Street corridor.
  • Record growth of fundraising, including incredibly successful Ever True fundraising campaign, raising more than $2.5 billion, and the launch of the Purdue Day of Giving, an annual celebration that has grown and achieved record donors and donations each year since 2014.
  • Yearlong celebration of Purdue’s 150th anniversary.
  • Increased rankings across the board for the university, its colleges and programs.
  • Unprecedented growth of the faculty and the undergraduate student body.
  • Transformative education initiatives, including Degree in Three programs across campus, a Civics Literacy requirement, and assessment of the growth in critical thinking for all students.
  • Expansion of the physical plant, including:
  • Chaney-Hale Hall of Science.
  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building.
  • David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex.
  • Wilmeth Active Learning Center.
  • College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Gateway Complex: Dudley Hall and Lambertus Hall.
  • Marc and Sharon Hagle Hall.
  • The Life Sciences Ranges Phenotyping Greenhouse Building.
  • Animal Sciences complex: Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences, the Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning and Purina Pavilion.
  • Zucrow High-Speed Propulsion Lab.
  • Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility.
  • Schleman Hall of Student Services and Stewart Center renovations for student services.
  • Creation of Presidential Lecture Series, bringing to campus prominent guest speakers on policy, leadership, culture and society.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities 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 https://stories.purdue.edu.

Media contact: Tim Doty, doty2@purdue.edu