Mitch Daniels

Purdue University

As the 2015 Indiana legislative session approaches, education leaders around the state are readying their pitches for a group of lawmakers charged with writing a budget as they sit on a $2 billion dollar surplus – a surplus everyone has suggestions on to spend.

In his monthly conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski asks if there’s a way to stop the practice of colleges giving money back to the state.

Purdue University

Purdue’s two-year-old tuition freeze appears to be lowering the amount of debt Boilermakers are assuming.

In the 2010-2011 school year, students on the West Lafayette campus had amassed about $223 million in debt. Through the first month of this school year, that number is about $40 million smaller – an average decrease of about $1000 per student.

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?

Wes Jackson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/boilermakerwes/3608649743/

In a few years, student bodies at some major public universities could include more low-income and first-generation collegians.

That’s the goal of the University Innovation Alliance, a group of 11 schools joining forces Tuesday. The Alliance’s goal is to help those students – whom numbers suggest don’t succeed as often as their peers from well-to-do backgrounds – graduate at a higher rate.

Purdue University

Some questions for this month's talk, which can be heard in its entirety from 12:00-12:30 and 6:00-6:30 on WBAA News Wednesday:

You responded Monday to the IPFW faculty senate about comments you made about whether research should be done at regional campuses. What prompted you to respond?

How do you see campuses like IPFW and IUPUI playing into Purdue’s research mission going forward?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

At least one West Lafayette textbook retailer says he’s not happy with Wednesday’s announcement of an agreement between Purdue University and Amazon.com.

Tom Frey runs University Bookstore, which sits across the street from the Purdue Memorial Union, but isn’t the school’s official textbook retailer. In the spring, Amazon will open a physical storefront in the Union.

Frey says it’s the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the internet company and the National Association of College Stores, of which he’s a member.

courtesy Purdue President's Office

Some questions for Purdue's leader this month:

There was a lot of talk at the GE Aviation groundbreaking this week that Purdue grads might have something of an inside track to jobs there, since they’ll likely be high-skill positions. Can the university develop some kind of a pipeline there for those students who might qualify?

The trustees last week approved the merger of the Calumet and North Central campuses into Purdue Northwest. What kinds of savings might that reap for the school’s overall bottom line?

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Officials from General Electric joined a bevy of elected leaders Monday to break ground on a $100 million plant that will eventually produce jet engines.

The GE Aviation facility is slated to open by 2016 and could start hiring workers as soon as next year.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski insists because it located in his city, GE won’t face the same dearth of qualified workers many companies are grappling with.

Wally Gobetz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3664385777

Purdue President Mitch Daniels testified Wednesday before a Congressional committee that wanted to grill him about a report arguing for manned spaceflight to Mars.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology questioned Daniels and Cornell University professor Jonathan Lunine about a report from a committee the two men co-chaired looking at the future of American space exploration.

courtesy Purdue President's Office

When he announced it last month, Mitch Daniels said Purdue's tuition freeze couldn't be permanent. Given factors such as rising personnel costs and inflation, he's right. So just how long is the program sustainable?

Also, after he weighed in on the role of the NCAA in college athletics, how does Purdue's president believe the West Lafayette campus should change how it treats its athletes, if at all?

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