Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels

Jae Lee / WBAA News

While he’s not endorsing anyone in this year’s elections, Purdue President Mitch Daniels came very close to aligning himself with Libertarian Gary Johnson at an event on campus earlier this month.

Johnson, like Daniels, wants to reduce the national debt – the very subject Daniels was summoned to chat with Congress about a couple weeks ago – a conversation he says was meant as a rebuke of the House and Senate, both of which are led by fellow Republicans.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Next year, Purdue opens its Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis. It’ll work within the Indianapolis Public Schools, but also be a competitor in some ways.

And it’ll offer something no other high school in Indiana does – direct admission to a university upon graduation.

So as more and more schools advertise to lure students away from their competitors, does Purdue have an unfair advantage?

We pose that question to Mitch Daniels on this month’s conversation with him.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As the race to replace Mike Pence on the Indiana heated up, many eyes turned to Purdue University President Mitch Daniels.

How many talks did he have with Republican party insiders who wanted him to walk back into the governor’s office?

You’ll get that answer on this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with him.

Also on this month’s program, an interesting hypothetical from the state’s former governor:

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Mitch Daniels came into the Purdue presidency vowing to stay away from politics as he pursued a job in academic administration.

But when you’re arguably the most popular Republican in a red state, and when conservative columnists regularly call for your return to partisan life, it can be hard to stick to such proclamations.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Think of Purdue University for a second like a giant pot of money. Yes, yes, some people already do. But bear with us.

Hypothetically, if the nation sees price inflation of any kind, the consumer price index goes up – and it has the last several years.

Now, if that giant pot of money isn’t being added to with even small tuition increases to keep up with inflation, is there more or less money in the pot to give to employees in the form of raises?

Purdue University

On the campus of a Research One university, there’s a lot of scientific debate.

But recently, Purdue’s president – who’s not a scientist – took a stand against what he calls one of the most alarming pieces of pseudo-science affecting Americans today – genetically modified food.

On this month’s conversation with Mitch Daniels, we ask why he’s so riled up about it and whether, when the rich head of a company that makes GMOs sits on your Board of Trustees, there’s a conflict of interest that should prevent such statements.

Purdue University

The issue of free speech on a college campus has already been tested at Purdue in 2016.

From anti-abortion protestors using fiery rhetoric in an effort to rile up passersby to a University employee posting threats of rape on social media, the newly-adopted “Chicago principles” of free speech have been tested almost to their limits.

On this month’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, we ask if the school put itself in a tough spot by advocating for expanded freedom of expression.

Purdue University

Puzzled.

That’s the word Purdue officials have chosen for their reaction to a call from West Lafayette city leaders who wanted more transparency in the process of deciding which firms would spend as much as $120 million to overhaul State Street.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels says a little secrecy is the price of doing business, and says Purdue doesn’t have to help.

But city leaders admit they need the school to front the money or the job will never get started.

That’s just one of the topics on this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels.

Purdue University

Many of us have been stopped for speeding by a police officer. It’s uncomfortable and it’s tough to know what to say or do.

But when you’re a public figure like Mitch Daniels, there’s an added layer of scrutiny.

Purdue’s President was reminded of that in the wake of a traffic stop on campus last month, and then reminded again when editorials suggested he should have asked for a ticket, rather than the warning he was given. On this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels, we’ll talk about that stop.

Purdue University

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has been pondering a number of racially-charged issues in the last month.

He’s of Syrian heritage and has watched as his state has tried to deny refugees fleeing civil war from coming to Indiana.

And his campus was the site of a protest similar to one at the University of Missouri decrying racial disparities at Purdue.

Those are just two topics we cover on November’s Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels.

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