LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was hailed as a
visionary who could bring innovation despite his lack of academic
credentials as he was introduced Thursday as the next president of Purdue
University, quashing speculation he could be the GOP nominee for vice
officials announced the former White House budget director and Eli Lilly
executive would be the university's 12th president following a unanimous
vote by the school's Board of Trustees, eight of whom were appointed by
Daniels. One trustee was out of the country and did not vote.
will replace France Cordova, who is stepping down in July after five years
at Purdue's helm.
visionary. He's a strategist. He's an innovator. But most of all, he's a
doer," said trustee Chairman Keith Krach.
take office in January once his second term as governor expires. He said
his appointment ends the possibility that presumptive nominee Mitt Romney
might tap him as a running mate or, if elected, to a Cabinet post. He said
he won't be involved in partisan politics after making one last
out-of-state appearance this weekend.
campaigning, no commenting about anybody's campaigning — in the state or
out state or anywhere else — no fundraising, nothing. I won't be a
delegate to the national convention," he said.
is expected to bring a business-minded approach, fundraising skill and an
image as an efficient manager to the new job. But he'll also find himself
on the flip side of a challenging education environment that has seen
state money for public institutions decline dramatically in recent years.
wearing a black and gold tie given to him by former Purdue President
Martin Jischke, talked about speculation by some about whether there are
too many students going to college and whether what they are learning is
worth the expense, and that some say the traditional residential campuses
"I do think
there are some unprecedented challenges to higher ed, and I see a real
opportunity for Purdue to manage whatever evolution is coming better than
most," he said.
he understands people who question his credentials and said he plans to
show he is worthy of the job, relying heavily on provost Timothy Sands and
others to help him. Sands will serve as interim president until Daniels
highest objective, and I'm going to start working on that right away, is
to build personal relationships and better understanding," Daniels said.
he would spend much of the next six months asking questions and listening.
"I've not made
a life in the academy, but I have spent my life reading and admiring and
attempting to learn from those who do," he said.
terms of the contract are still being worked on, but said a memorandum was
in place. Search committee Chairman Michael Berghoff said the contract
will be for at least five years.
Daniels ordered $150 million carved out of state higher education funding
in December 2009 as the state's revenues declined. Purdue's state funding
has fallen from a peak of $262 million in 2008-09 to $233.9 million for
the just-completed school year.
also came under fire from state lawmakers over its tuition increases at
the height of the recession. Purdue's in-state tuition rates have risen by
as much as 62 percent since 2004, according to figures provided by the
rejected university leaders' contention that state aid cuts have forced
them to raise tuition.
aggressively tackled education issues during his tenure, helping to
establish Western Governors University, an online option for
nontraditional students, and pushing the Legislature to reduce the number
of credit hours it takes to achieve some degrees. He also led changes in
K-12 education, including the nation's broadest use of school vouchers.
"I hope to
become an audible and credible voice for the critical role of higher
education in the nation's future, and an effective advocate of Purdue to
those who might support its growth in quality and reputation," Daniels
also have to overcome the perception that his selection was preordained,
because he appointed the trustees who chose him for the job, she said.
Daniels reappointed three of the Purdue trustees on Tuesday and has
appointed eight of the 10 current members
Ferguson, political science department chairwoman at Indiana
University-Purdue University Indianapolis, said Daniels will have to work
harder than most presidents to show he understands academia.
legislation opposing "credit creep" in universities missed the mark, she
said, when it blamed faculty and administrators for students spending
longer times completing undergraduate degrees. The Daniels proposal did
not take into account that many students are either changing majors or
transferring to other schools, thereby increasing the number of credits
they take and debt they incur.
also have to overcome the perception that his selection was rigged,
because he appointed the trustees who chose him for the job, Ferguson
said. Daniels reappointed three of the Purdue trustees on Tuesday and has
appointed eight of the 10 current members.
insider's game," Ferguson said of the selection process. "The faculty
didn't really have an input, and even more so than usual where the
governor chose the trustees who are then choosing him."
Krach answer a question about whether it was ethical for him to be named
president by a board that he primarily appointed. Krach said Daniels was
recommended by the search committee, which included faculty, deans and
Daniels was initially considered "a longshot" because people were
encouraging him to run for president, but the committee decided to
approach him anyway.
"With his name
coming up left and right, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask," he said.