Purdue President Mitch Daniels on Tuesday announced that Jay Akridge has been named the university’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, effective immediately. Akridge has served in the position in an interim capacity since July 1.
“All of us at Purdue should be pleased and proud to have someone of Jay’s talents and character as our provost,” Daniels said. “He is a longtime Boilermaker who exemplifies the level of excellence to which we all aspire.
“I also want to thank our search committee for its work in reviewing candidates, organizing forums for the finalists and gathering campus feedback on the candidates.”
Akridge, who also holds a faculty appointment as professor of agricultural economics, previously served for more than eight years as the Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture, leading the college’s academic, research, Extension and international programs. He also served as interim vice provost for engagement at Purdue in 2007-08 and as interim dean of agriculture in 2008-09. Prior to moving into administration, Akridge was the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics and director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management program.
“I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve Purdue as provost and chief diversity officer and look forward to working with our faculty, staff and students, other campus leaders, and President Daniels and our trustees to help our university truly define what it means to be a 21st century land-grant institution in terms of excellence, innovation and impact, accessibility, affordability, and inclusiveness,” Akridge said.
As provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, Akridge will be responsible for the recruitment, hiring and review of deans and also ensuring that the university’s functions of academic affairs, student life, diversity and inclusion, the Graduate School, enrollment management, and libraries are delivered with a focus on student success and effective use of resources.
In addition to his responsibilities at Purdue, Akridge serves as chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Policy Board of Directors and held a variety of leadership roles with APLU, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and regional research committees. He also serves on the Executive Steering Committee of AgriNovus Indiana and on the Board of Directors of Agriculture Future of America.
He is the recipient of Purdue’s Charles Murphy Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching (1996), is listed in Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers (2003) and was named a University Faculty Scholar in 2000. His research focused on strategic management of food and agribusiness firms and adoption of new technology by agribusiness.
Akridge earned his master’s degree and doctorate in agricultural economics from Purdue and his bachelor’s degree from Murray State University.
Karen Plaut, senior associate dean for research and faculty affairs within the College of Agriculture, has been serving as interim dean of the College of Agriculture. Plaut will continue in that role, and a national search for the next dean of agriculture will begin immediately, Akridge said.