France A. Córdova spent five years at the helm of Purdue -- the third shortest term of the university's 11 presidents. Yet her accomplishments are far-reaching and varied. That her achievements -- from bolstering student-centered programs to enlarging the university's international reputation and garnering more than $1 billion in gifts -- were achieved during a time of economic upheaval make them all the more noteworthy.
In a series of recent interviews with the Journal & Courier, Purdue's first female and first minority president summed up her areas of focus under three headings: students, research and global reach.
"I think we have achieved accomplishment in all of those different areas. Meanwhile, the overarching goal was to build the brand, build the reputation of Purdue," she said. "Because every university really rests on -- what kind of experience does it give its students and faculty so it continues to attract the best students, faculty and staff?
"That is ultimately what it is about -- having a great institution."