Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels: The Optics Of Diversity

Jul 29, 2015

The president says he's not worried what people think about the school eliminating the job of Chief Diversity Officer, even as Purdue struggles to recruit black students and faculty.
Credit Purdue University

One of the watchwords in higher education is “more.” Schools have to be careful what they strive to have more of – and often, what they never meant to accumulate in the first place.

On this month’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, we ask about a couple items Purdue wants to have more of: gifts to the university and minority students and faculty members.

By almost any measure, Purdue has struggled to recruit African-Americans to campus – either to teach or to learn.

So it raised eyebrows earlier this summer when the school eliminated the job of its Chief Diversity Officer, herself a black woman.

On this month’s show, Purdue’s president says it was a decision made by the provost and he isn’t concerned about the public perception of the decision.

What he is concerned with is keeping fundraising to the levels of the last year – but how likely is that?