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Gov. Daniels Will Finish Term Before Heading To Purdue

daniels at purdue

Photo: Elle Moxley

The search committee presented Daniels with a ceremonial gift: a motorcycle jacket with the Purdue emblem. He's wearing it as he shakes hands here with attendees after being announced as the next president.

Mitch Daniels plans to finish his term as governor before taking over as the next president of Purdue. But he says now that he has officially accepted the position he will immediately recuse himself from any partisan activity or commentary.

The board of trustees unanimously approved Daniels’ selection at a meeting this morning. The head of the search committee Michael Berghoff says he sought out and recruited Daniels for the position. The governor interviewed three times and Berghoff says he was subjected to more intense questioning than any of the other candidates.

Daniels replaces France Cordova who is retiring next month. Provost Timothy Sands will lead Purdue as interim until Daniels’ term as governor ends in January.

Indiana House Speaker and Purdue alum Brian Bosma says he’s thrilled to see Governor Daniels leading Purdue.

“Well as a Purdue engineering graduate and longtime advocate for the university in the General Assembly, I am sincerely thrilled that Mitch Daniels has been selected as Purdue’s 12th president,” says Bosma. 

Senate Education Committee chairman Dennis Kruse says Daniels’ lack of academic experience shouldn’t hurt him as Purdue’s president but  Daniels’ role in the recent cuts in state funding to Indiana’s colleges and universities will be something the governor will have to defend.

“Yeah I think the people who work there now might question, ‘Hey who in the world did they hire to be our president?’” says Kruse.

In a written statement, Indiana University president Michael McRobbie offered his congratulations to Mitch Daniels and said he looked forward to working with the governor in his new role to quote – address some of the very real issues facing higher education both in Indiana and nationally.

Posted 10:11 am

Governor Mitch Daniels is the next leader of Purdue University.  He takes over for France Cordova who is retiring next month.  Daniels will be the 12th president in the school’s history.  His term as governor ends in January.

Sources confirmed the news of Daniels’ selection Tuesday, but the Purdue trustees made the official selection this morning.

Almost immediately after the news leaked this week, some began questioning the governor’s record on education and whether he had the experience to lead a university. Daniels responded by saying he could provide a new perspective.

“Let’s just say that maybe someone who reveres higher ed and wants very desperately to see it succeed as well as possible but comes at things with a slightly different, maybe complementary set of experiences can contribute something,” Daniels says.

We have reporters at the Purdue announcement and our colleagues at StateImpact are also covering it. You can follow our reporting live in an online chat.

This story will be updated.

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