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Western Governors Loses Advocate As Daniels Joins Purdue

Mitch Daniels says there is not a conflict between his involvement with the online Western Governors University and his new position as Purdue's president.

Mitch Daniels

Photo: In.gov

Mitch Daniels addresses a crowd at his inauguration in 2009.

Western Governors University-Indiana is losing one of its most vocal and visible advocates as Governor Mitch Daniels becomes Purdue University’s new president.

WGU-Indiana is a nonprofit online school aimed at working adults looking to advance their education.  Governor Mitch Daniels was primarily responsible for bringing WGU to the state but will now leave its board as he heads to Purdue.  Still, he says he will remain a firm supporter.

“There is, as far as I can tell, zero overlap between the students who are going to go to Purdue University and those for whom WGU is the right fit so I think these are really complementary institution,” he says.

Daniels says all of Indiana’s higher education institutions should support each other as they work toward the same goal of educating Hoosiers. WGU-Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber says she’s reached out to both of Indiana’s gubernatorial candidates to promote the school.

“So one of them of course will be the elected leader but they’re both leaders and that’s my goal and my strategy is how do we capture the interest and the support of leaders in our state,” he says.

Barber says she works on attracting not just politicians but business and community leaders to further promote WGU to people across the state.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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