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Daniels Doesn’t Plan Big Changes For Purdue, Others Unsure

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks in Loeb Playhouse after being elected Thursday, June 21, 2012, by Purdue Board of Trustees as the university's 12th president. Seated is Trustees chair Keith Krach.

Governor Mitch Daniels says he plans to ease into his new role as president of Purdue when he takes the job in January.  Others say to expect big changes in West Lafayette.

Governor Daniels came into office in 2004 with a bold agenda but he says that’s because, in his opinion, much of Indiana state government was broken.  Daniels says his new job at Purdue won’t require such sweeping changes because the public university already works well.

“It delivers high value degrees.  Its graduates do very well – they get jobs and they get good jobs.  What they paid to get that education is pretty modest compared to a lot of other places,” Daniels says.  “It’s a rigorous place – it’s not easy to get a good grade at Purdue.  In a lot of places, you don’t know what the diploma means.”

But many who watched Daniels as governor – such as state Democratic Party chair Dan Parker – say the outgoing governor won’t be quiet leading Purdue.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if some privatization came to Purdue and it wouldn’t shock me if an idea came out that he would like to take the state institution private,” Parker says.

Daniels says he will look to be as inclusive as possible – citing Purdue’s board of directors and its faculty – when making changes or solving problems at the school.

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