Safe Campus Task Force

President Daniels announces launch of Safe Campus Task Force

Purdue President Mitch Daniels established the Safe Campus Task Force March 31, 2020.

Share your ideas with the Safe Campus Task Force here.

Give to the Safe Campus Initiative Fund here.

Safe Campus Task Force

With the viral epidemic still at an early stage in the U.S., uncertainty confronts us on almost every question.  But one thing we can say with confidence: next fall’s college environment and experience will be unlike any we have witnessed.

This fall, as always, there will be a flu season.  But this fall, the COVID-19 strain will be a part of that season.  Most faculty, students, and staff will not have acquired a natural immunity to it, and there will not yet be a vaccine.  Special preparations and perhaps radical changes in traditional practices will be required, for both the medical protection and the psychological comfort of all involved.

Each year, when public safety data are analyzed and reported, Purdue and West Lafayette rank among the very safest campuses and college communities in the country.  We intend to extend that record by making ourselves also the best prepared and safest possible university environment from a public health standpoint.

I have asked a broad-based team of the best minds and experienced leaders at Purdue, led by two of our senior academic figures, to propose every change they can conceive in our practices, procedures, physical facilities, or any of our operations that will limit the degree of illness, flu or otherwise, on our campus, and to manage it effectively when inevitably it does occur.  The way we teach, learn, house, perform research, congregate, and do the work necessary to support those core activities are all open to reexamination and new, safer approaches.  A list of the Safe Campus Task Force members is below.

This fall semester, and perhaps every one that follows it, will be different because of the COVID-19 experience.  At Purdue, our mission is to prepare tomorrow’s problem-solvers, and cultivate the persistence and determination that overcoming adversity and difficulty demands.  This fall, Boilermakers will demonstrate both qualities by making the smart changes needed to produce a high-value education in an optimally safe environment.


  • David Hummels (co-chair), Dean of the Krannert School of Management
  • Willie Reed, (co-chair), Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Lisa Mauer, Professor of Food Science, Director of the Center for Food Safety Engineering
  • Arvind Raman,  Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty in the College of Engineering and the Robert V. Adams Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Pamela Karagory, Interim Head of the School of Nursing
  • Gerry McCartney, Executive Vice President for Purdue Online
  • Beth McCuskey, Vice Provost for Student Life
  • Bill Bell, Vice President for Human Resources
  • Gail Walenga, Director, Purdue University Student Health Center
  • Carol Shelby, Senior Director of Environmental Health and Public Safety
  • Keith Gehres, University Registrar
  • Jay Wasson, Associate Vice President, Physical Facilities
  • Rita Clifford, Executive Director of Information Technology Enterprise Relationship Management

Scientific Advisors 

  • Richard Kuhn, Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor in Science and Krenicki Family Director, Purdue Institute of Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease
  • Phil Low, Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry – Biochemistry
  • Richard Mattes, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition Science