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Daniels faces host of issues on Purdue campus

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Mitch Daniels stepped into his new role as Purdue University president Monday as soon as Mike Pence was sworn in to succeed him as Indiana's governor.

Daniels met with university faculty members and administrators when he arrived on campus shortly after Pence's inauguration ceremony, the Journal & Courier reported. He spoke with acting President Tim Sands and faculty leaders about the university's switch to trimesters, an issue that Daniels wants to focus on right away.

Purdue's goal was to make the change by 2020, but Daniels would like to see it done sooner. Faculty members have said much more planning is needed before transitioning to the new schedule.

During Daniels' first six months in his new job, he will oversee legislative hearings on Purdue's budget, establish new tuition levels and familiarize himself with the 76,000-student system. Purdue will set tuition and fee levels for the next two academic years in May, and an increase is expected.

Daniels already has held a few dozen meetings with students, staff and rank-and-file employees. Other subjects he is planning on tackling immediately include administrative costs, an initiative to add 107 new professors in the next five years and technology transfer.

"The idea is to have an initial conversation of some of the things I think we all share as important items," he said.

Daniels officially assumes the role of Purdue University's 12th president on Tuesday.

Daniels' five-year, five-month contract provides a base pay of $420,000, a university-owned residence and a car with a driver. He will also be eligible for a 30-percent performance-based bonus.

Purdue has not yet released Daniels' schedule for his first week on campus, but Daniels told the Journal & Courier that he will host a reception at his university-owned home Monday evening.

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  • Another Viewpoint
    One could look at it another way and that is to eliminate all the engineering technical courses. We have plenty of technical schools in Indiana already: Ivy Tech, ITT, Devry, Indiana Tech. These institutions are probably already cheaper than Purdue At the University of Chicago (which does not have an engineering school), when I attended, looked down on engineering students as trade school graduates no better than someone learning cooking or metal welding skills. The UofC viewed liberal arts and the pure sciences as much better preparation for developing research skills. What the heck, given the state already has an over abundance of technical and Liberal Arts school (most with much better athletic teams) let's save the State the maximum amount of money and just close down Purdue altogether!
  • Expectations
    Are high that the spiraling tuition will stop now. Mitch can make an impact by getting a 5% tuition REDUCTION for 2013-2014 year. That will make waves. Then he goes to the department heads and asks what each can help do about it. I know one thing can be done is dump many of the non-engineering/technical schools the provide little benefit to the future economy. There are a multitude of liberal arts schools in the state. Purdue would be well served by closing many of them, thus reducing that overhead. I also expect professors can do a little more teaching to reduce TA expenses. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Slash and burn the waste, graft, and duplicate/triplicate expenditures!

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