Daniels outlines higher education vision

Sep 27, 2012

Purdue’s president elect says he is using criticism to learn more about the school and his position.

Mitch Daniels says he is not trying to silence those concerned with his hiring, but work with them to make the university better.

“If this selection ultimately proves to be a wise one for Purdue, and I am going to do all I can to make that case, then it might well be at a time because at a time of great difficulty for higher ed," he said, "a person who brings some experiences that are complementary might prove to add some value.”

Daniels spoke to the Purdue community Thursday during an interview with C-SPAN found and alumnus Brian Lamb.

The president elect has faced criticism since his hiring due to his lack of experience in higher education, but says he is preparing for the transition through meetings with students and staff.

Daniels says his central objective as leader of the university is to increase Purdue’s value.

“Looking at Purdue grads five years out and 15 years out and seeing how they are doing in life and comparing that to the tuition and fees paid here, across all of American higher ed, we are eighth," he said.  "If there is one area that I would love to see Purdue continue to lead or even improve on that would be it.  Because, it would sum up some many other great performances that have to  go together.”

Daniels addressed health care costs, diversity safety, and reforming public education.

He also says he wants Purdue’s College of Education to be a leader of reform in the country and wants the university to be one of the top producers of STEM educators, nationally.

When asked what he brings to Purdue, he pointed to his fundraising abilities.

"I can raise a lot of money," he said.  "In a time like this we are going to need to go out and find friends of this school and try to get them as excited as we are about the great things the school is doing and can do."

Daniels says the morning he is no longer governor, he will begin working as Purdue's president in the afternoon.