2012 Year in Review

Daniels wins presidency ... at Purdue

December 28, 2012
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City successfully stages Super Bowl, shoots for another Indiana adopts right to work WellPoint investors force Braly ouster Judge lays into Durham, sentences him to 50 years ISO reaches new contract, launches fundraising spree Developers unleash blitz of apartment projects Hoosier voters tap Pence to continue Daniels' legacy Daniels wins presidency—at Purdue City projects move ahead, following clash over TIF Indy airport sends CEO Clark packing In election shocker, voters bounce schools chief Bennett Bernard bounced as IndyCar Series CEO Digital marketer ExactTarget splashed onto NYSE


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2012 NEWSMAKER: School librarian Ritz won with grass-roots campaign 2012 NEWSMAKER: Crime stance returns Hogsett to political spotlight 2012 NEWSMAKER: Council Dem Mahern plays role of antagonist 2012 NEWSMAKER: CEO keeps Simon stock surging 2012 NEWSMAKER: Miles adds to diverse business, sports career Other 2012 news of note

About a year after deciding not to campaign for president of the United States, Gov. Mitch Daniels agreed to become the next president of Purdue University.

Mitch Daniels in his new Purdue leather jacket. The Purdue University board of trustees gave Gov. Mitch Daniels a leather jacket at the June press conference introducing him as the college's new president. (AP photo)

After the Purdue trustees decided not to renew the contract of Purdue’s previous president, France Cordova, they turned to Daniels to help navigate a higher education funding environment that is more challenging than ever.

Daniels will need to moderate costs for students while at the same time ramping up Purdue’s research enterprise.

“Higher ed in general in this country is a business model that looks shaky,” Daniels told the Journal and Courier of Lafayette in March. But, he added, “There is no reason in a few years Purdue should not be mentioned when someone talks about Cal Tech or MIT,” referring to the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He will need to do even more at Purdue as state support has not been keeping up with inflation—and that was even before Daniels himself cut higher education funding by $180 million.

Many politicians are eager to watch when Daniels appears before state legislators to ask for Purdue’s next round of state funding.

Also interesting will be Daniels’ interactions with Purdue faculty—many of whom are wary of his dismantling of the state employees’ union and his business-like approach to education.

While many Purdue alumni—especially business leaders—were unhappy with Cordova, Purdue reached new heights under her leadership.

Annual research awards set records by topping $400 million in 2010 and 2011. SAT scores of incoming Purdue students are higher than ever. Cordova cut $67 million out of Purdue’s operating budget and raised $1 billion—in the middle of a recession and market meltdown.

But with tuition up 145 percent in the past decade, Daniels will have to try new approaches to keep the Boilermaker train chugging.•

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