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Daniels wins presidency ... at Purdue

 IBJ Staff
December 28, 2012
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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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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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