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Purdue faculty leader urges cooperation with Daniels

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The leader of Purdue University's faculty senate has encouraged professors to cooperate with Gov. Mitch Daniels has he prepares to take over as the school's president in January.

Daniels scheduled two forums each for Tuesday and Wednesday on the West Lafayette campus with professors and others from eight of Purdue's academic colleges, with more forums planned for October, the Journal & Courier reported.

University Senate chairman Paul Robinson, a biomedical engineering professor, told that group Monday that Daniels was doing more to familiarize himself with campus issues before taking over as president than other recent Purdue leaders could do.

"He will have had six months to work out what is going on behind the scenes — trying to work out what is reality and what is not," Robinson said. "We as faculty will have had the most access to a future president in the history of this institution."

The Purdue trustees voted in June to hire the Republican governor to replace France Cordova, who stepped down in July after five years leading the 75,000-student university system. Daniels will start at Purdue after his second term as governor ends in January.

Some students and faculty have complained about Daniels' lack of an academic background and that he either appointed or reappointed all of the Board of Trustees members who picked him.

Robinson said he has had frequent communication with Daniels since his selection and that all faculty members should want Daniels to succeed.

"Mitch Daniels is making a strong attempt at being open-minded in his evaluation," Robinson said. "He is allowing himself to be scrutinized by the faculty, and he has so far been forthcoming in his responses."

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