Dr. Martin C. Jischke

Engineer and President of the University of Purdue


When Dr. Martin C. Jischke became Purdue's 10th president in August 2000, he established the goal of making a great university into a preeminent university.

He is well on the way to accomplishing that.

Dr. Jischke and the Purdue University Board of Trustees have embarked upon a strategic plan that is transforming Purdue into a more dynamic and powerful institution. Purdue is not only on its way toward educational preeminence but is also leading efforts to bring about an economic resurgence for the state of Indiana.

In November 2001, the Board of Trustees approved a five-year strategic plan designed to take the university to the next level of excellence. The plan called for data-driven decision making a key focus being the collection of data for comparison with peer institutions and bold new steps to improve diversity, expand interdisciplinary research, enhance learning with the addition of 300 new faculty positions, and engage government and business leaders to advance economic development. The creation of Discovery Park, a $100-million multidisciplinary research and entrepreneurial cluster now being built on the south edge of campus, is the most visible change.

A $1.3 billion fund-raising campaign, launched in September 2002 in support of the strategic plan, designates $200 million for student scholarships and fellowships, $200 million to attract and retain the best faculty, $200 million for programs and centers, $600 million for facilities and equipment and $100 million for unrestricted funds. It is the largest campaign in the history of higher education in Indiana.

President Jischke also continues to build alumni support and create a number of educational partnerships within the state of Indiana. Working cooperatively with state government to achieve better education and economic development for Indiana citizens are among Dr. Jischke's highest priorities.

Dr. Jischke's leadership extends to national and international higher education organizations. He was the founding president of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture. He served as chairman and board member of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and as a board member of the American Council on Education, National Merit Scholarship Corporation, and Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities. He is on the boards of directors of the Association of American Universities and the American Council on Competitiveness.

Dr. Jischke served as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Rolla from 1986 to 1991, and his success in that role led him to the presidency of Iowa State University. Like Purdue, Iowa State is a land-grant institution with strong emphases on engineering, science, agriculture, extension and veterinary medicine. During Dr. Jischke's nine years of leadership, the university made huge strides in improving undergraduate education, expanding research programs, increasing student diversity and raising money for scholarships. Private fund raising at Iowa State set records each year under Dr. Jischke's leadership, topping $100 million annually.

After receiving his doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968, Dr. Jischke joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma's School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. During his 17 years at Oklahoma, he served in multiple capacities. He became director of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in 1977. He was the principal advisor to 21 thesis students. He served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1981 to 1986. In 1985 he was named the university's interim president.

Trained as a fluid dynamicist, Dr. Jischke has expertise in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics and problems related to high-speed aircraft and spacecraft. He is co-editor of one book and the author or co-author of 31 archival journal publications and 21 major technical reports. Dr. Jischke has given more than 50 major technical presentations and lectures. He has held research fellowships with NASA and the Donald W. Douglas Laboratory and has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, NASA, National Institutes of Health, National Severe Storms Laboratory and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During 1975-76, he served as a White House fellow and special assistant to the U.S. secretary of transportation.

Dr. Jischke is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a recipient of the Centennial Medallion of the American Society for Engineering Education. The Illinois Institute of Technology and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine have awarded him honorary doctoral degrees. He also has received the Illinois Institute of Technology Professional Achievement Award and the Ukraine Medal of Merit from that nation's president for outstanding service by a foreign national.

In addition to serving on numerous civic, state and corporate boards during his academic career, Dr. Jischke has been a science adviser and consultant to a range of state and federal agencies and government officials and corporations, including a term as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation.

He was born in Chicago and graduated from Proviso High School in Maywood, a suburb on Chicago's west side. In 1963 he earned his bachelor's degree in physics with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Martin and Patty Jischke were married in 1970. They have two children, Charles, an audio engineer living in Southern California, and Mary, an engineer living in Indianapolis.