Indiana’s Governor Mitch Daniels will be singing a new tune later this month as he heads to West Lafayette to begin his term as Purdue’s 12th President. After serving two terms as Governor, Daniels will waste no time after Mike Pence is sworn in as the 50th governor of Indiana.
“I’ve kept Purdue waiting one semester, and that is long enough,” he said. “Everybody—I mean everybody—keeps saying, ‘how long a break are you going to take?’ And I keep saying, ‘what is a break?’”
Those are welcome words coming from the university’s incoming president. Public education has taken several big hits in the past few years, and taking up the post will be no easy task. It’s good to know that Daniels doesn’t think so, either.
“I think that it is time to get to work,” he said.
Provost Tim Sands has been serving as acting president since last July, when previous president France Córdova resigned after five years in office. The school had been searching for nearly a year before selecting Mitch Daniels in June, about a month before Córdova officially left the school.
Purdue is breaking new ground by appointing a politician to the position, as some believe that politics should remain divorced from higher education, but Daniels’ history in politics and business may also be what the school needs to survive.
“He’s a visionary. He’s a strategist. He’s an innovator. But most of all, he’s a doer,” said Trustees President Keith Krach.
Since being announced as president-elect, Mitch Daniels has had dozens of meetings with students, staff, and faculty at Purdue. He has also held open forums and Q&A sessions to offer explanations for any queries people might have. He’s certainly taking his new post seriously, and is working hard to understand the ins and outs of all the issues at hand.
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