Logan Jordan Logan Jordan, the Krannert School's associate dean for administration, began his career at Purdue after earning a master's degree in management in 1982. (Photo by John Underwood)

Keeping It All Together

Behind the scenes with Krannert's 'glue guy'

From his office on the main floor of the Krannert Building across from the Purdue Memorial Union lawn, Logan Jordan has probably seen it all.

Jordan, the longtime associate dean for administration at the School of Management, isn’t telling, however.

His focus and vision is typically elsewhere, from day-to-day operations and support services to infrastructure, budgeting and benchmarking.

In fact, Jordan has become such a fixture at the Krannert School that many don’t recall that he arrived at Purdue in 1980 as a graduate student with a BA in chemistry from Hendrix College, a private liberal arts college in Arkansas. He became a Boilermaker alumnus with a master’s degree in management in 1982, the same year he joined the school as director of administration under Krannert’s third dean, Keith Smith.

Jordan’s service continued under Smith’s successor, Ron Frank, who promoted him to assistant dean of administration in 1985. Jordan earned a PhD in strategic management in 1998 before being promoted to his current position in 2002 by Dean Emeritus Rick Cosier. He also steered the ship under former dean P. Christopher Earley before David Hummels’ interim appointment as dean was made permanent in 2015.

“One of the most important things a school needs is a sense of itself,” says Hummels, Krannert’s eighth dean. “Logan has been here long enough, through multiple degrees and holding senior staff positions, that he has lived much of Krannert’s history. That is incredibly useful when you’re trying to understand how a situation or a policy evolved, but it’s even more important when you want to make and ensure changes that remain true to the spirit of the institution.” 

Both Hummels and Cosier say Jordan’s exceptional administrative skills, attention to detail and personal integrity have been critical to the school’s growth and development. They also mention his “wry sense of humor,” which keeps everyone smiling even through challenging times.

“Logan has a set of colorful idioms that pop up unexpectedly in conversation,” Hummels says. “He’s like an Arkansas farmer holding forth on a rickety porch, except the metaphorical hay, pigs and floodwaters represent the faculty office queue or year-end cash flow analysis.”

Indeed, Jordan’s initial comment regarding a profile in Krannert Magazine was, “I think there are better stories to tell than being strapped to the mast,” a reference to Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.”

And there are — like the time he joined Cosier on a trip to secure a $10 million gift to complete the funding for Jerry S. Rawls Hall. Or when he and Cosier became the first people in more than 50 years to step off the elevator on the third floor of the Krannert Building, which had been blocked by bookshelves until a multi-year renovation of the facility was completed in 2009.

“I have also been in a lot of meetings over the years where someone will say after we come up with a 90 percent solution that ‘it will be someone else’s problem in a few years,’ only to learn a few years later that it’s now my problem,” quips Jordan.

Joking aside, Jordan is a tireless advocate for Purdue and a veteran member of two benchmarking groups — one on computing and another focused on finance and operations — that allow him to bring an outside perspective back to Krannert from leading business schools, including UCLA-Berkeley, MIT, Harvard and Carnegie-Mellon, among others.

More than anything, Cosier says, Jordan is the “consummate team player” whose continuity and commitment has helped evolve the Krannert School into one of the top business schools in the nation.

Hummels uses a similar sports metaphor to describe Jordan.

“You’ll sometimes hear commentators talk about an athlete who holds a team together,” he says. “They call them ‘glue guys.’ Logan’s our glue guy.”