Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels

Jae Lee / WBAA News

A funny thing happened when Purdue President Mitch Daniels wrote a recent editorial for the Washington Post. The article came with the headline: “Is anyone ever wrong anymore,” and hundreds of commenters on the websites of various papers that ran the opinion piece tossed the question back at the former governor and appointee of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As the Higher Learning Commission, a regulatory body charged with accrediting colleges, gets closer to making recommendations about Purdue’s proposed merger with Kaplan University, the heat on Purdue President Mitch Daniels is increasing.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has called Purdue’s leader out specifically on Twitter, saying he’s misleading people about the deal.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

When white supremacist literature began appearing on Purdue University’s campus, President Mitch Daniels said he didn’t want to spend time giving the promoters any more notice than they deserved.

But by one account, there have now been more than half-a-dozen incidents of hate speech or threatening actions on campus, and the campus community is putting increasing pressure on the president to take a side, rather than falling back on the school’s broad free speech policy.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

At least twice since Purdue President Mitch Daniels sent a letter to the academic community about the bigotry in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year, his campus has seen posters from white supremacist groups put up in public spaces.

The president has been criticized more than once for not responding strongly enough to such actions, and on this month’s episode of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with him, we ask whether the notoriety he’s sought for Purdue has made it a bigger target.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

At the beginning of this academic year, Purdue President Mitch Daniels sent a letter to the campus community in which he said Purdue would not stand for the kind of violence that struck Charlottesville, Virginia – another college town – just before the school year began.

But he’s also said that much of the violence on American college campuses in the last couple years has been instigated by left-wing student groups.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

A recent study shows Republicans -- the group that elected Purdue University President Mitch Daniels to two terms as governor -- have a souring view of whether higher education is worth it anymore.

So on this edition of WBAA's Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels, we ask him why conservatives might see college as less of a good influence, even as Democrats see it as more and more worthwhile.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

It’s fair to say Purdue President Mitch Daniels has gotten a mixed reaction to his proposal of buying online education purveyor Kaplan.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

It’s no secret what the biggest topic is on this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels.

We could easily have filled the whole show with the many lingering questions about Purdue’s deal to buy online educator Kaplan University.

We won’t, but we will ask Purdue’s leader why the deal doesn’t include provisos mandating more transparency, whether he was prepared for the backlash he’s received and whether that backlash creates more possibility that any of the agencies which still have to sign off on the deal will instead put the kibosh on it.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As the school year winds to a close, some top Purdue administrators have made plans to change jobs.

West Lafayette Provost Deba Dutta is on his way to New Jersey.

And, with IPFW set to become Purdue Fort Wayne, Chancellor Vicky Carwein is stepping down.

The people who take over those roles have some challenges ahead of them. The new Fort Wayne leader is going to have to reconstruct the campus. And the West Lafayette Provost’s office has faced persistent questions about whether it’s really committed to diversity.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

When Purdue University hosted its annual “Road School” conversations on infrastructure earlier this month, it enlisted President Mitch Daniels to proctor a conversation with one of his successors – current governor Eric Holcomb.

On this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, we ask how often those sorts of talks happen between the current and former leaders of Indiana.

Also: President Daniels appeared on an Indianapolis talk show just before President Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress.

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