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Coppoc announces retirement from IU School of Medicine-Lafayette

IU School of Medicine • 11/13/14

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Gordon L. Coppoc, DVM, Ph.D., director of the Indiana University School of Medicine-Lafayette and associate dean of the IU School of Medicine, will be stepping down from the position he has held for 16 years.

Dr. Coppoc shared his news Nov. 8 during an open house at the newly dedicated Lyles-Porter Hall, the new state-of-the-art education facility that houses the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette and four clinics in Purdue University’s College of Health & Human Sciences.

Dr. Coppoc, who has taught for 43 years at Purdue University and IU School of Medicine-Lafayette, played a major role in making the new education facility a reality. His retirement will be effective Dec. 31.

“After more than four decades on this campus, it is time to retire,” Dr. Coppoc said. “I would like to share with you that for many years I have been wearing two pins on my lapel. One of them says ‘Make Dreams Real,’ and the other has the symbols of IU and Purdue with the words ‘Working together for all of us.’ Well, my ‘dream’ is now real because both IU and Purdue have worked together to make Lyles-Porter Hall a reality. I am grateful to have had this wonderful opportunity and look forward to observing what positive things are in store for local medical education.”

Dr. Coppoc has been the director of the Lafayette regional campus of the nation’s second-largest medical school since 1998. An interim director will be named in December and a search committee established to interview new director candidates.

“Having leaders like Gordon whose dedication to IU School of Medicine’s mission is essential to achieving a vision like Lyles-Porter Hall, and vital to training physicians who want to serve this community,” said Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and vice president for university clinical affairs for IU. “We appreciate Gordon’s long history of service and tireless efforts to advance regional medical education. IU and Purdue may compete in athletics, but we’re on the same team when it comes to academics and research. Gordon has been a valued member of both universities, and we’ve been fortunate to have him on our team.

During Coppoc’s tenure at Purdue, he taught over 3,000 veterinary students and 544 medical students, and he served as advisor to six graduate students, the most recent of which earned a Ph.D. in May 2014. He was co-founder of the Purdue Comparative Oncology Program, a component of the Purdue University Cancer, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

“Dr. Coppoc’s career at Purdue can be characterized as that of a scholar who was ahead of his time,” said Purdue University Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine Willie Reed, DVM, Ph.D. “He always was looking to the future, anticipating how science and technology could change the way we teach and conduct research, all for the purpose of advancing both animal and human health and well-being. His dedication to our college was unmatched, and his vision for collaborative scholarship has left a lasting impact. He will be greatly missed.”

Dr. Coppoc joined the Purdue faculty as an assistant professor of veterinary pharmacology in 1971. He served as director of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences (previously named the Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology) from 1979 to 2008. His association with the IU School of Medicine-Lafayette began in 1980 when he started teaching medical pharmacology to medical students.

A reception to honor Gordon’s retirement, hosted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and Purdue’s Department of Basic Medical Sciences, will be Dec. 4.