Academic success can be judged by how well students apply what they have learned to outside of the classroom.

Just ask the Krannert School of Management students who finished first at the Midwest Diversity Case Competition held at Indiana University. This was one of the first things Christopher Earley, dean of Krannert School of Management, spoke about with his presentation “Krannert Moving Ahead” at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Earley began with the rankings of Krannert among the top universities across the country, citing EDUniversal’s ranking it 16 in North America amongst all public and private universities and a ranking of 21 among the undergraduate programs by US News and World Report. Even Krannert’s Master’s Program ranks 59 worldwide, Earley said though “it is estimated that there are approximately 18,000 business school programs in the world.”

Krannert is looking into the future as well, beginning with where they want the direction of the program to head. On the undergraduate level they hope to have more direct admits, students who do not need to meet a prerequisite grade point average in required courses before gaining entrance to the school.

Efforts to increase diversity with both the graduate and undergraduate students are also part of the progress that Krannert would like to see. The underrepresented minority percentage of undergraduates from the United States has grown to 10.4 percent from 7.3 percent in the fall of 2010, a statistic they would like to see grow even higher to a goal of 14 percent in 2014. With graduate students from the United States, Krannert has an underrepresented minority percentage of 20%, up from 12 percent in fall of 2008, and in 2014 hopes of a goal at 25 percent.

A new program initiative that Earley says he would like to increase “visibility and revenue for the school” by something they’re calling a STEMBA, based off the acronym STEM for science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors. This STEMBA is a program directed towards working professionals in the Chicago area who have STEM backgrounds. It would consist of an 18-month MBA program with a partnership in the research projects here at Purdue.

Also at Thursday’s meeting Dale Whittaker, vice provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, presented the Division of Financial Aid’s priorities which include ensuring access to need-based aid, bring and keep students to Purdue based on merit-based aid, and provide improvements for the student body. In Thursday’s meeting Whittaker focused the middle-class Hoosier population at Purdue, making sure students who take advantage of loans do so responsibly and directing funds to out-of-state students who have the most to offer Purdue.

One of the most interesting statistics brought to attention by Whittaker was that 38.7% of in-state students graduated with no debt in the past year while 60.9% of out-of-state students graduated with no debt.

Whittaker stressed the importance of responsible student borrowing citing that a rate of 3.2 students have defaulted on their loans which was an increase from 1.7 in the past. Though, “74 percent of Purdue students who have defaulted on their loans in the first two years of repayment did not receive a degree from Purdue.” Whittaker said that they want to offer larger awards of financial aid to fewer students, focusing on students who will succeed within Purdue’s goals.

Other items passed at Thursday’s meeting included approving Ellen Kossek as Basil Sidney Turner Professor of Management, changing Alan Gray’s title to Land O’Lakes chair in food and agribusiness formerly known as agricultural chair of excellence in engagement, approving cooperative education program certificates for Krannert School of Management and College of Engineering Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, and awarding a posthumous degree to Matthew J. Rocchietti.

During the Physical Facilities Committee portion of Thursday’s meeting approval for leased space in the Wishard Hospital office in Indianapolis for Purdue’s pharmacy program, a $3.14 million construction contract for renovation on the Math Sciences Plaza and a $2.04 million contract to improve bathrooms in Harrison Hall’s south tower, floors one through five. Both contracts were awarded to Kettlehut Construction company of Lafayette, Ind.