Martin C. Jischke (1941), a native of Chicago, Illinois, received his B.S. (1963) in physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his M.S. (1964) and a Ph.D. (1968) in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was trained as a fluid dynamicist with expertise in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, and high-speed aircraft and spacecraft.
Jischke began his career in academia as an Assistant Professor (1968-1975) of Aerospace, Mechanical, and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He then served as Special Assistant (1975-1976) to the United States Secretary of Transportation. Jischke returned to the University of Oklahoma where he served as Director and Professor (1977-1981) of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical, and Nuclear Engineering. He was named Dean (1981-1986) of the College of Engineering and served as interim President (1985) of the University.
The University of Missouri-Rolla, now known as the Missouri University of Science and Technology, appointed Jischke to serve as their Chancellor (1986-1991). In 1991, Iowa State University announced that Jischke would serve as the 13th President (1991-2000) of the University. By this time, Jischke had become an accomplished fundraiser. During his tenure, Iowa State's fundraising compaign "Campaign Destiny: to Become the Best" was an unprecedented succes raising $458 million in just five years.
At Iowa State, Jischke focused on retaining and competing for top faculty and staff and supported efforts to improve professional development. The Miller Faculty Fellowship, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and Project LE/ARN were all initiated under his administration. Jischke also oversaw numerous improvements to campus facilities. The Molecular Biology Building, Administrative Services Building, Howe Hall, the Frederiksen Court Community, Reiman Gardens, the Thielen Student Health Center, the National Swine Research and Information Center, and the Jacobson Athletic Building were all constructed during his tenure. Also during his administration Old Botany Hall was extensively renovated and renamed for Iowa State alumna and women's rights crusader Carrie Chapman Catt. The Jischke Honors Building, completed in 2002, was named in his honor.
Martin Jischke left Iowa State in 2000 to serve as President (2000-2007) of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
In 1970, Jischke married Patricia Fowler. Patty Jischke earned her B.A. (1970) in social work, her M.S. (1971) in library sciences, and her J.D. (1975) all from the University of Oklahoma. They have two children, Charles and Marian.