The Purdue University Board of Trustees has approved $20 million for a new phenotyping greenhouse facility. Additionally, the board approved new metrics to measure President Mitch Daniels’ performance for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
The university says the funding will support the first phase of a master plan, which will consist of demolishing two span-type greenhouses, a work center and storage. In their place will be a four-season research greenhouse, which will feature conveyors that can move plants into Purdue’s Ag Alumni Seed Phenotyping Facility for imaging and data collection.
“Enabling plants from the new facility to be integrated into the existing controlled environment phenotyping facility will allow more research discoveries related to plant health, nutrition, drought and disease stress and root health,” said Bernie Engel, senior associate dean for research and graduate education for the Purdue College of Agriculture.
Construction on the 5,000-square-foot greenhouse is scheduled to begin in November with occupancy expected to begin by August 2024.
Purdue says the new metrics for President Daniels include student success measures such as overall graduation rates, number of degrees awarded, and increased yield and retention/graduation rates for Black students at the West Lafayette campus as part of goals of the university’s Equity Task Force.
Additionally, new metrics include operational and financial improvement at Purdue University Global, and the establishment of the Purdue Applied Research Institute.
“We continue to raise the bar on our expectations, and thanks to the dedication of the entire Purdue community, we have seen growth and improvement across the board over the past nearly 10 years,” said Malcom DeKryger, chair of the board’s Compensation Committee. “As we keep accessibility, quality, affordability and value at the forefront of our work here, we’ve added additional student success measures for this year reflecting goals set out by our Equity Task Force.”
The performance metrics determine how much of Daniels’ “at-risk” pay he receives as part of his contract with the university.