NEWSMAKER: Jischke praised, while Herbert taking heat:

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Jischke praised,
while Herbert taking heat

Confidence in the job performance of the two leaders of the state’s largest universities headed in opposite directions this year.

At West Lafayette, Purdue University President Martin Jischke, 64, continued to receive high praise for elevating the university’s status as a player in the state’s economic development mission.

Meanwhile, his colleague at Indiana University, Adam Herbert, found himself fending off a barrage of critics calling for his ouster because they don’t think he has been visible enough.

Both spoke to IBJ earlier this year in separate interviews.

Jischke arrived on the Purdue campus in August 2000. Under his leadership, the university is well on its way to raising $1.5 billion in the largest capital campaign in school history. The fund drive has enabled Purdue to add faculty and facilities, including Jischke’s centerpiece: the $100 million Discovery Park research center.

Herbert, 62, assumed leadership of IU in August 2003, following the departure of
Myles Brand. While detractors have complained that he is missing in action, Herbert defends his strategy. He said his first priority was to get the university’s operations in order, which has taken longer than he anticipated. The process is nearly complete, but he admitted his face time has suffered.

One of Herbert’s more ambitious objectives is to double externally funded grants and contracts within a decade. Last year, the university brought in more than $477 million in external funding, nearly 25 percent more than the $383 million it

posted in 2002.

IU also has a hand in the state’s economic-development initiative, Herbert argued. Plans are in place for a new cancer hospital in Indianapolis and IU has managed to attract a number of world-class faculty members to join its staff, Herbert said.

That might not be enough to save his job, though. IU trustees earlier this month agreed to consider a midyear job review of Herbert at a special meeting Jan. 14.

In contrast, Jischke had the adva beginning work on his plan the arrived.

Under his watch, Purdue has ad faculty members-nearly half the 300-and Jischke has replaced ano professors who retired or resigned.

Even his approach has drawn some skepticism. But supporters say the “tweed coat” mentality to teach, publish and go home is getting harder to find every day.

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