Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels: Accepting Transfers And Cody Cousins

Sep 24, 2014

Purdue's president says the school needs to loosen the reins on whom it accepts from other schools.
Credit Purdue University

Some topics addressed on this month's show:

Polling firm Gallup says African-American students are more likely to leave college with debt than their white counterparts. In fact, white students are almost twice as likely not to have any student debt at all. What, if anything, is Purdue doing to combat this?

The University Innovation Alliance wants to make school more affordable for first-generation and low-income students and there’s a lot of crossover on the Venn diagram of those two groups of students. Is it fair to say the UIA is going to focus some significant portion of its efforts on minority students?

Last Friday, I covered the sentencing of Cody Cousins, the man who killed a fellow engineering student on campus in January. I’m sure you followed the outcome of the case – what did you make of it?

This was a targeted incident where one student appeared to go to great lengths to harm another individual – some have said there’s nothing the school could have done to prevent it. Still, there have been changes to the school’s security in the intervening eight months. Are more on the way, do you think?

Universities, particularly since Virginia Tech, have tried to be more proactive about campus safety, but an incident like the one here is so radically different from the shootings in Blacksburg or many years ago at UT-Austin that is begs the question: is it even possible to be proactive enough to stop these things without seriously infringing student and staff freedoms?

There was a lot of talk at the last faculty Senate meeting, most of which you initiated, about Purdue seeing a decline in its transfer student population. You said, “It appears the word is out: Purdue is just too restrictive.” What will you do to change that?

One person asked you if the school was becoming too centered on the STEM subjects. Do you think there’s merit to that?

Senate President Patty Hart asked about where the 100 new engineering jobs that have been  are coming from. She suggested other programs might not get to hire as much because engineering was the golden child of the university. Any reason to think other schools might not get their hires because engineering is getting so many?