June 9, 2023

Gallardo named vice president of the updated Office of Engagement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Roberto Gallardo, director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development and an associate professor in the Agricultural Economics Department, will take on the role of vice president for engagement as the engagement office is elevated to the Office of the President, reporting to Alyssa Wilcox, senior vice president for partnerships.

“As an essential part of a land-grant institution, we are further elevating the support to the overall engagement mission, which consists of at least four units at Purdue for many years: the engagement office, the partnership offices, communications (led by Ethan Braden) and Purdue Extension (reporting through the dean of Agriculture). Now the first two of these offices carrying out the engagement mission will be partnering closer than before,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “As I continue to visit each and every one of the 92 counties in our state of Indiana, we see the impact made by colleagues of all of Purdue's engagement-related offices.”

gallardo-roberto Roberto Gallardo Download image

Gallardo, who will begin in his new role July 1, has worked with regions over the past decade conducting local and regional community economic development, including the use of technology for development. This work has relied on bidirectional engagement. He has authored more than 100 articles, including peer-reviewed and news-related articles regarding rural trends, socioeconomic analysis, industrial clusters, the digital divide and leveraging broadband applications for community economic development.

“Roberto is ideally placed to help us engage as a leading public research university and a 21st-century land-grant institution,” said Patrick Wolfe, Purdue provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “As we aggressively modernize our approach to best meet the needs of stakeholders and partners, this update will ensure better coordination, streamlining our operations and enhancing our overall impact.”

Gallardo replaces Steve Abel, who will retire June 30 after more than 40 years of dedicated service to Purdue in the areas of student education, faculty/leadership development, mentorship and community engagement. Abel has served as associate provost for engagement since 2016 after serving as associate vice president for engagement (2014-16) and associate vice provost for faculty affairs (2012-14). Previously, he held various positions within the College of Pharmacy, including assistant/associate dean for clinical programs and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, as well as the William S. Bucke Professor of Pharmacy Practice. He also served on the Healthy Boiler Committee.

“These partnerships rarely form on their own. Instead, they must be cultivated, resourced and incentivized to ensure that Purdue is an actively engaged university,” Wilcox said. “This updated engagement model will continue to foster relationships between the Purdue administration, faculty, staff and students across our system and with public and private partners in Indiana, nationally and globally. Now is the time to reimagine how we engage as a university, recognizing its past success and positioning partnerships and engagement as an essential contributor to Purdue University’s persistent pursuit of excellence at scale.”

Gallardo and Wilcox will work closely with Purdue’s new dean of agriculture and other stakeholders to identify ideal leadership and best practices for both Engagement and Extension to create a successful future for the organizations and to effectively serve the people of Indiana and the nation.

“I am grateful for this opportunity,” Gallardo said. “I have seen first-hand how impactful Purdue's bidirectional engagement is and look forward to building on what is already being done and taking it to the next level.”

With this update, the Purdue Conferences division of the current engagement office will move to Administrative Operations, reporting to Zane Reif, senior director of the Purdue Memorial Union under the leadership of Robert D. Wynkoop, vice president of administrative operations.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.

Sources: Mung Chiang

Patrick Wolfe

Alyssa Wilcox

Roberto Gallardo

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