WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is doing its part in helping the war-torn country of Ukraine. Purdue has selected 16 scholars who are now in the process of trying to make their way here to the U.S. and to West Lafayette.
The decision to help them was one everyone was on board with at Purdue.
13News spoke to Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs, in March as the university was in the process of selecting qualified faculty members.
Purdue collaborated with the Ukraine Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the news spread like wildfire.
Purdue received around 60 inquiries and had to narrow it down to 16.
A tenured faculty member will be their mentor. Their main duties will be research, guest lecturing and panel discussions.
"Everyone's behind it. Everyone's contributing," Brzezinski said. "So, it is a good feeling to be involved in a very well-organized effort to try and make a difference in the lives of a few people, and that's what we're trying to do is help a few people not only have a safe landing spot, but also to be able to continue their academic pursuits to the extent possible."
When the scholars arrive depends on where they are located in Ukraine and how long the visa application process takes. The first are expected to arrive in May or June, with the majority arriving this summer.
Purdue aims to welcome a few more scholars down the road with the potential for more spots. They have secured housing for 19 so far.
The program is set up for one year, with the possibility of an extension.
Brzezinski said, to his knowledge, Purdue is the only university doing some like this to this magnitude.