Martin Jischke


President's Medal for Excellence (2007)
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Michael A. McRobbie


Dr. Martin C. Jischke was born in Chicago and graduated from Proviso High School in Maywood, a suburb on Chicago's west side. In 1963, he earned his bachelor's degree in physics with honors from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

After receiving his doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1968, Dr. Jischke joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma's School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. During his 17 years at Oklahoma, he served in multiple capacities. He became director of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in 1977 and served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1981 to 1986. In 1985 he was named the university's interim president.

Dr. Jischke then served as chancellor of the University of Missouri-Rolla from 1986 to 1991, and his success in that role led him to the presidency of Iowa State University. During Dr. Jischke's nine years of leadership, the university made huge strides in improving undergraduate education, expanding research programs, increasing student diversity and raising money for scholarships. Private fund-raising at Iowa State set records each year under Dr. Jischke's leadership, annually topping $100 million.

He became Purdue University's 10th president in 2000. He has served as President of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture. He is a member of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) Board of Directors and serves as the Chair of NASULGC's Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources Executive Committee. He is Vice Chair for the Association of American Universities Executive Committee and a Council Member of the National Academies Government University Industry Roundtable. He also serves as the Chair of the Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents/Chancellors

Dr. Jischke has held research fellowships with NASA and the Donald W. Douglas Laboratory and has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, NASA, National Institutes of Health, National Severe Storms Laboratory and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. During 1975-76, he served as a White House fellow and special assistant to the U.S. secretary of transportation.

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a recipient of the Centennial Medallion of the American Society for Engineering Education. The Illinois Institute of Technology and the National Agricultural University of Ukraine have awarded him honorary doctoral degrees. He also has received the Illinois Institute of Technology Professional Achievement Award and the Ukraine Medal of Merit from that nation's president for outstanding service by a foreign national. He was honored with the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2004 Justin Smith Morrill Award. In addition to serving on numerous civic, state, and corporate boards during his academic career, Dr. Jischke has been a science adviser and consultant to a range of state and federal agencies and government officials and corporations.