General News
2:33 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Daniels calls AP story "utter distortion"

The president of Purdue disagrees with an Associated Press article written about him during the time he was governor. Mitch Daniels calls the story erroneous and unfair.

The A.P. reports on an email exchange in February of 2010 that shows Daniels requested banning historian Howard Zinn’s writings from classrooms. The story also includes emails from 2009 regarding an IUPUI professor who was a critic of Daniels.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels speaks to reporters about an Associated Press story referencing historian Howard Zinn and censorship.
Credit Mike Loizzo / WBAA Radio

Daniels says the two topics are not connected, but were put together for this story and are distorted.

“My only concern in sending one email – and I guess one follow up, on one day a few years ago – had to do with protecting students in public, K-12 education in Indiana against what the whole world agrees is a false version of American history.”

Daniels says the state has a right to review K-12 curriculum, and he defends his decision to keep Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States,” out of Hoosier public school classrooms.

As for the IUPUI professor, Daniels says he questioned whether the state should require Dr. Charles Little’s class for professional development purposes, not if the content was right or wrong.

Daniels says he supports academic freedom.

“If Howard Zinn had had tenure at Purdue University, I would defend him and his right not to be dismissed for the nature of his work. That’s academic freedom. That would not immunize him, or any professor, from criticism of shoddy work.”