Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge — Mitch Daniels: Plain Talk from the President of Purdue


Mitch Daniels is the former governor of Indiana (2005–13), former director of the Office of Management and Budget (2001–03), and current president of Purdue University (since 2013). In this wide-ranging conversation with Peter Robinson, Daniels discusses his insistence on keeping Purdue’s tuition below $10,000 and how he does it, his vision for Purdue that includes mix of online and onsite education, and his efforts to hire an ideologically diverse faculty and recruit students from various backgrounds and ethnicities. He also shares his thoughts on the recent civil unrest, protests, and looting across the United States, and his plans on how to open Purdue and keep it open this fall amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis.

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  1. Brandon Shafer Coolidge

    Excellent questions Peter! Love that Mitch is at the helm of my Alma Mater. He has certainly positioned the University well for now and the future. I wouldn’t mind hearing him dish on the state of higher ed, but can understand how he’s positioning himself to lead a diverse institution especially when he came in as an outsider and not risen as a professor as many other university presidents do. I think it is that outsider status that has enabled him to be so successful in managing the institution financially and helping it to grow in size and prestige while working towards making it more accessible. While I think he’s right that Purdue’s faculty and students and geographical location make it more balanced than other instructions, being a midwestern school doesn’t protect an instruction from going off the rails, see Missouri, Oberlin etc. So I’m especially grateful that he has taken the strong stance that he has on freedom and diversity of ideas and speech.

    • #1
    • June 5, 2020, at 9:35 PM PDT