Purdue University on Tuesday announced several changes to its leadership team as President-elect Mung Chiang prepares to begin his tenure next month. Among them is Patrick Wolfe, who will become the university’s next provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, as well as Karen Plaut, who has been promoted to executive vice president for research.
Wolfe currently serves as the Frederick L. Hove Dean of the College of Science and the Miller Family Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Purdue. He succeeds Jay Akridge, who in November announced plans to step down at the end of the year.
Purdue says Wolfe was selected from a field of more than 20 nominees. Before joining Purdue in 2017, he helped establish and lead the Alan Turing Institute in the United Kingdom.
“I couldn’t be more pleased and proud to serve our students, staff and faculty across the entirety of Purdue’s academic enterprise as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity,” Wolfe said in written remarks. “I look forward immensely to helping make Purdue the most consequential comprehensive public research university in America.”
The university said Jean Chmielewski, the Alice Watson Kramer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science will serve as interim dean while a national search for Wolfe’s successor is held.
Purdue’s current executive vice president for research and partnerships, Theresa Mayer, has been promoted to the newly-created role of chief science officer.
As a result, the university has named Karen Plaut executive vice president for research. Plaut joined the Purdue faculty in 2010 and became dean of the university’s College of Agriculture in 2018.
“I am honored and excited to be the next executive vice president for research as part of President-elect Chiang’s leadership team,” Plaut said. “I look forward to catalyzing the growth of the research enterprise through strategic investments in faculty success across the university.”
Dan DeLaurentis, director of Purdue’s Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation and professor of aeronautics and astronautics will become vice president for Discovery Park District and will report to Plaut.
Additionally, the university said Alyssa Wilcox will become senior vice president for partnerships and chief of staff for President-elect Chiang. She currently serves as senior associate vice president for advancement and previously was director of development for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue.
All of the changes will go into effect in January.