Dr. Karen Plaut, Dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture, will become the university’s new Executive Vice President for Research on Jan. 9. She will be overseeing Purdue’s $600 million research enterprise.
Plaut came to the university in 2010 as the associate dean for research for the College of Agriculture. She became interim dean in 2017 and then permanent dean of the college in 2018. With a focus on digital agriculture and data science, the college’s ranking rose to No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 8 in the world (QS World Rankings for Agriculture and Forestry, 2022). In 2022, extramural research awards in the college reached a record $85.6 million across all federal agencies, and faculty worked with over 100 industry partners.
Under Plaut’s direction, the Purdue Moves and Next Moves investments in the Institute for Plant Sciences have positioned Purdue as a global leader in developing and delivering innovation, technology and human capacity in plant phenomics, digital forestry and consumer behavior. Investments in the construction of the Indiana Corn and Soy Innovation Center and the Ag Alumni Phenotyping Facility, leveraged with faculty hires and investments in data science, have enabled Purdue to become a world-class leader in digital agriculture. Investments in commercialization through the Ag-Celerator have resulted in 25 startup companies, and more recently, the college has developed a new model of innovation through DIAL Ventures as part of the Purdue Applied Research Institute.
“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.”
An interim dean for the College of Agriculture and a national search for the next dean will be announced in early January.