Daniels faces host of issues on Purdue campus

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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