Gov. Daniels to be named Purdue's next president

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Gov. Mitch Daniels will become Purdue University’s 12th president, succeeding France Cordova, a source familiar with the search process told IBJ Tuesday.

Purdue’s trustees are scheduled to meet in West Lafayette Thursday morning to vote on the selection. Daniels is the only candidate the board will vote on, the source said.

Daniels, a Republican who before entering politics was an Eli Lilly and Co. executive, is expected to finish out his second term as governor before assuming the post early next year.

Purdue officials did not immediately respond to phone messages and e-mails.

The university said in a press release that the new president would hold a press conference Friday morning at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

Cordova is retiring next month after leading the school for five years. She turns 65 in August.

Daniels, 63, has been rumored to be a candidate since Cordova announced in July 2011 that she would retire.

Michael Berghoff, the Purdue trustee who has chaired the presidential search committee, wouldn’t comment on the rumors about Daniels during an interview with IBJ in March. But he did acknowledge that the Purdue trustees were looking for someone who had the ability both to raise money and to make the university operate efficiently.

“Perhaps five years ago, 10 years ago, the financial piece was mostly about fundraising,” said Berghoff, a Purdue alumnus who is president of Lenex Steel Corp. in Indianapolis. “Now, the financial piece is about fundraising as well as about operations.”

Daniels would take Purdue’s helm amid major challenges facing the university and its peers. U.S. public research universities like Purdue are facing clouds ahead, after roughly 20 years of “boom times,” wrote higher education analysts at New York-based Moody’s Investors Service in a December report. Students and parents increasingly can’t absorb massive tuition hikes, and state funding has not kept pace with inflation.

“It’s definitely a tougher environment,” said Diane Viacava, Moody’s analyst following Purdue, which Moody’s assigns its highest credit rating. “Although higher education remains highly desirable, it is increasingly competitive.”

Purdue is the state’s seventh-largest employer, with 15,000 workers. Its well-regarded programs in science, technology, engineering, computers and agriculture churn out a steady stream of the workers employers want.

In addition, its professors’ research can produce the technical innovations needed to launch new high-value products and companies that have the best shot of reversing Indiana’s long decline, relative to the rest of the nation, in personal incomes.



  • girlcousin
    MoRon--your name says it all. So much for the 'overwhelming' approval for this decision.
  • Disrespect
    This type of crap is disrespect for anyone who has ever earned a Ph.D. This guy has no business running a traditional school of this size. Maybe, he should have taken the Western Governor's University job. He was on the website. Oh that's right. They couldn't afford him.
  • Daniels results are over rated
    Has Mitch Daniels really done a good job as Governor? Not if you measure it by economic growth. Real per capita income growth accelerated in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, but decelerated in Wisconsin and Indiana. http://midwest.chicagofedblogs.org/archives/2012/06/
  • Crony Capitalism
    Mitch Daniels appoints Keith Krach to the Purdue Board in 2007 shortly after Krach's DUI arrest. Keith Krach, now the Purdue board chairman appoints Daniels. Crony capitalism? http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2007/4/10/Some-Folks-Cant-Get-over-the-B2B-Hangover
  • Denier appointed President???
    Let em get this right. A denier is put in charge of a science university in an act of political quid-pro-quo on the part of the Board of Trustees many of whom were appointed to their positions by Daniels himself. What do the science faculty think of this decision? Haws anyone polled them as opposed to cherry picked solicitous comments from an unrepresentative minority? Daniels is on record as denying the reality of climate change and went further at a recent graduating ceremony with (shocking to those in attendance) comments indicating that he hopes the next generation of students wont' be taken in by "phony climate change" theories. Is this positioning Daniels to make hire/no hire decisions at the staff level , either directly or indirectly> Is Daniels now in a position to unduly influence the reward or pay schedules of researchers? This is an outrage and slap in the face to all researchers who have worked hard and against partisan political hacks to establish the reality of climate change and who are directly working for the national security of the United States of America. The board should resign and the people pf Indiana should seek to oust them from their positions. Daniels should be forced to resign as soon as possible. Purdue's stature as a serious center for scientific progress and inquiry is endangered and mocked by appointing a heads-in-the-sand climate change denier as its President and the alumni and families of this great institution need to make their voices heard on this matter.
  • Lease the University
    Hey Mitch...lets lease the University to the Koch Brothers for 75 years. They can run it as a political think tanks and pump out 20,000 new republicans per year. You won't need any tax dollars, the one percenters will be glad to donate the money (like they did to your campaign coffers) to make certain that their cause is promoted and secured for years to come. The teachers and policemen were told by Mitch to serve on a school board or a city council is a conflict of interest so he signed a law making that illegal, BUT this sounds legit? Also he will be receiving a pension as Govenor...will he be allowed to double dip collecting two pensions from the same state. Wake up Purdue...I know my kids who are alums hate this idea...it reeks!
  • Quid pro quo much?
    So after deriding those criticizing Daniels, and the incumbent president of Purdue, do you have any thoughts on the ethical issue of appointing trustees who then hire you?
  • Missed opportunities
    fkgaza - Your comment reflects a typical misguided American mindset. Higher education is not just about finances and sports to entertain you. It is much more about protecting academic integrity and creating an environment to nurture innovation and ideas to deal with the complexities and demands of our modern world. Choosing someone from a political party that openly mocks intellectuals and science does not bode well for the future of Purdue University.
  • hawk in charge of chicken coop
    Let me get this straight... a person who disdains public-school teachers will be appointed as the leader of a public university?
  • hawk in charge of chicken coop
    Let me get this straight... a person who disdains public-school teachers will be appointed as the leader of a public university?
  • Sell Indiana, sell Purdue
    So many good comments here about why Daniels is not a good choice. First, he appoints the trustees and then they select him for president. Tell me there is not a conflict of interests here! With his record of selling off Indiana assets just think of what he can do with Purdue. For donations from large chemical corporations he will give them influence (control) on the studies and research that Purdue does. So we will end up with an institution that is nothing but a mouth piece for large corporations. Think genetically engineered foods. Think even worst. This is just my thoughts based upon watching what Daniels has done for Indiana and education during the last eight years.
  • Embarassing
    A state supported school is really supposed to be for the working people and their children. A good education and a dream for them to get something better. I can't think of any person that has hurt the working person any more in Indiana than Daniels. His policies toward organized labor {also labor benefits} and his bringing national and international players into 100+ to 300+ million state contracts in the guise of saving money have hurt local small business and labor.I know he appointed majority of the board members so it is a by gone conclusion he can get what he wants. Give him a job as teaching a class or something else, but not President of a fine public institution that is for the people. Board Members do your job and forget about payback time.
  • Sell Sell Sell
    Here Purdue wants to sell 100 year lease on campus parking
  • About time
    For too long public education and the affiliated institutions have sucked off the tax payers. Look around at the brick and mortar on campus where not one building (other dorms) is operating at capacity. The Cordova era has been an embarrassment, good to see someone with some fiscal sense when be running show. There is an abundance of waste taxpayers have been funding and it's good see a major university out of the SOP elect someone who will bring a responsible 21st century approach to such a fine institution. Congratulations to the trustees for once doing the right thing!
    • just a penny or granny and the wolf
      what is this funding raising bit- selling the state off piece by piece instead of runing the machine is not good ,he could of fund raised as govenor just a penny would of been a good sign ,wake up or forget it.what happened to the arts programs he ran wjrehfsvv, so now its different new person,reborn ?hmmm purdue has had a arts program to fix. pension fund time comes to mind before fundraisorman and closure,heck i think its time to sell purdue to the chinesseeee? would they buy the school? or toll road to dubaieee too surely runnng the department of transportation was too much to do for indiana citizens to have?? fund raiser is dead issue the supreme court changed that point,hmm for schools too! you think serious.i am outta of this issue good luck to all
    • fire half the 15000 employees and opps hide the trust funds
      purdue finally ran as a school for profit and yes too many on payroll-cut hack time and all those juicey trust funds accounts needing a fixen, and a note on the techno departments massive foreignerrrss attending for free is a big question- point when student cost increased (that is) more then skyrocketed ---to what fund foreign students or broadroom crowds? yep its a hit-take over time if its not already set up. Michael Berghoff, the Purdue trustee who has chaired the presidential search committee, wouldn’t comment on the rumors about Daniels during an interview with IBJ in March. But he did acknowledge that the Purdue trustees were looking for someone who had the ability both to raise money and to make the university operate efficiently.water boarding was bushes admistration doing when mr d was there within,maybe the board has need to talk more-hmmm the whole truth time for the real reasons needed to settle this. i dont see mr. d being a person who likes academics elite or their thinking,corperate raider like wallstreet schools would be a perfect union over the working person to the family run farm (not corperatefarm biz) really complicated but the end results will speak for themselves once its over,alittle like the bush years gone to school! i am not in the school picture or have anything to gain by my entreeee,but see something that changes my thought about the name. ya i saw the new indiana art museum turned into a special profit wing of what the parks dep oh ya who cut city pools funding and raised the kids swiming pool rates ok forget it ,mr d gets my vote to see what happens
    • Part of the problem
      I think everyone forgets that it was Mitch's decision to withhold state money from the public universities for the last eight years that forced state universities to raise their tuition in the first place. It's easy to balance the state budget when you don't pay for your responsibilities. So now putting the man in charge who a) tried to strangle higher education by withholding money, b) privatizing primary school education to corporations who's goal is to make money rather than teach students, and c) has been working to undermine higher education through the promotion of lower paying, two year degrees from a troubled community college systems that borderline on useless, is now going to lead one of the most prestigious research universities in the world. It couldn't possibly go wrong, could it? Crap, why can't I stop crying?
      Oh comon. Mitch is an excellent choice. Quit whining. He will straighten out the finances and probably the sports programs too. THIS IS A GOOD CHOICE FOLKS.
      • President's role
        The biggest role that a president of a university plays is that of fundraiser. With all of Mitch's connections to business across this country and abroad, he will bring a lot of money into Purdue. That will be his main role for these two years. Also, Purdue will see their grant money increase under Mitch because he has experience wading through those waters. As an IU alum I actually worry that our grant money will drop because of this. I think Purdue supporters are thinking that Purdue is handing over the keys to Mitch and I don't think that is the case. I think Purdue is smart enough to realize that the guy can bring in cash and that is why he is there.
      • really?
        I am an alumn and I can assure you the last donation that I made to the scholarship fund was the last I will ever make. This is a mistake.
      • Kevin??
        Kevin - Seriously, you and Al Gore still trying to get the rest of us to believe in man made climate change??
      • WOW
        People calling it a step forward, I dont get it - its only for two years though (thank heavens). What possible help can he be in two years (or anybody for that case) Looking to build, plan and prepare for the future is not a top priority at Purdue it seems to me. Two more years on the States payroll and better retirement benefits I would guess.... Way to go Mitch but your still not my man!!
      • WOW
        People calling it a step forward, I dont get it - its only for two years though (thank heavens). What possible help can he be in two years (or anybody for that case) Looking to build, plan and prepare for the future is not a top priority at Purdue it seems to me. Two more years on the States payroll and better retirement benefits I would guess.... Way to go Mitch but your still not my man!!
      • What?
        This is really a puzzling decision. Daniels doesn't know the first thing about running a university, and he's in for a rude awakening. And what about his support for WGU, which is the global opposite of Purdue?
      • Seriously?
        Strong leadership under Cordova? You have to be kidding me. 10 steps back is exactly what has happened under her, especially considering she likes to spend the university's money for her own benefit.
      • Purdue Stereotypes
        Mitch will do great things for Purdue. But sounds like several of the alumni commentators here are small minded and reinforcing the stereotype of Purdue being a bunch of rednecks!
      • 10 steps backward...
        I am disappointed. As a proud Alum I have watch Purdue has come so far under the strong leadership of Hanson, Beering, Jischke & Cordova....and now Daniels??? It might only be 2 years, but even a strong institution like Purdue can easily take 10 giant steps backward in that short time. I shall spend my gifting dollars elsewhere until better, less political decisions are made by our Trustees.
        • Mitch just pretends to agree with the lunatics
          Governor Daniels isn't really a global warming denier any more than he hates gays, Muslims, Mexicans, Obama, etc. etc. He's smartly kept his job by not offending the pitchfork-weilding GOP base by ackowledging reality, something they just can't stand. Too bad Senator Lugar wasn't able to play along. Then again, enabling these people only encourages them.
        • Conflict of Interest?
          Purdue Trustee Michael R. Berghoff, president of Lenex Steel, Purdue Presidential Search Chairman http://www.purdue.edu/bot/trustees/berghoff.shtml Governor Mitch Daniels Appoints Berghoff Purdue Trustee http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?id=36513 Lenex Steel Gets Millions From State http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?id=31830 http://www.lenexsteel.com/news_terrehaute.php ARTICLE X: Conflicts of Interest http://www.purdue.edu/bot/by_laws/index.shtml#article10
        • It's about transparency
          Something that the Daniels administration doesn't understand. These are the SAME people that have "lost" a half billion dollars and now you want him to run the university. Don't whine when you start getting requests monthly to pay Mitchie's inflated salary. PU would have been better off to do a national search and pay a professional fundraiser a percentage. In the long run it would have been more effective and a lot less expensive.
        • Your degree . . .
          must have been in shoveling not forking.
        • The right man for the job
          I couldn't be happier with Mitch as the new Purdue president. As an alum, this was the perfect choice after the disaster that was Cordova. The people on here whining about it are the same small group who complain about everything he does. They are probably still mad about having to change their clocks. Get over it already.
          • Happy Boilermaker
            I don't understand some of these comments. I am a Purdue graduate and a huge fan of everything Purdue. I too am a republican. I could not be happier for Purdue. I think it makes a ton of sense to have Mitch Daniels take over as president for at least the next two years. Fundraising will benenfit as will the operations of the university. My guess is Mitch will stay there two years, make a huge positive impact, and then move onto somethiing equally big. I am fully behind My Man Mitch and kudos to the person(s) responsible for getting him on baord.
            • Climate Changer Denier
              Mitch is going to be President of a SCIENCE university and he is a climate change denier? The GOP is anti-science as well. I wonder if he will prohibit the teaching of evolution, climate change or environmental topics which "conflict" with the GOP version...
              • There it goes . . .
                So not only does Mitch get a job with two years left before he'll have to face mandatory retirement, what do you wanna bet that his boy Osterle and all the other little Republican wannabes will approach the legislature for a bill to remove that requirement. Guess that means Snyder at Ivy Tech will be emperor in chief until eternity. Oh btw the Speaker is a Purdue grad.
              • Sad day for Purdue
                As a Purdue graduate and Republican, I can say this is a sad day for Purdue. Lets not forget that this is the same guy that added another university to the State (WGU).
              • Retirement Age
                I thought that President Cordova was being forced to retire due to a mandatory retirement age of 65. Mitch is already 63. What's the deal?
              • Mitch's New Deal
                I heard that Mitch is selling the football stadium in order to lower tuition
              • Not this alum's man.
                So let me get this straight, the guy who appoints the trustees of Purdue University, and who has also been systemically cutting the funding of public education at all levels in the state of Indiana for the last eight years is the best person to be the next president of Purdue? Gotta make some black and gold 'not my man' shirts...

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