Mitch Daniels, the former Republican governor of Indiana, was, from the start, a controversial choice to lead Purdue University. When he was chosen as president, the liberal faculty at the school balked, convulsed, and moaned. And that was simply due to his conservative politics.
Now formally installed as the university’s president, it didn’t take long for Daniels to stir up some real controversy. In this case, he took dead aim at the poor state of higher education system.
Just one week into his new position as president of Purdue University, former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels released an open letter disparaging the current financial and professional state of American higher education.
Daniels, who briefly considered a run for the Republican presidential nomination, took up his new job last week after the conclusion of his second term as governor. Those who wondered what kind of administration a conservative reformer like Daniels would bring to Purdue weren’t kept in the dark for long; the new president immediately published a laundry list of problems facing higher ed, from the financial to the philosophical.
“College costs too much and delivers too little,” he wrote in the letter. “Students are leaving, when they graduate at all, with loads of debt but without evidence that they grew much in either knowledge or critical thinking.”
The letter doesn’t stop there. Daniels also criticized administrative bloat, grade inflation, political correctness, research vs. instruction, and the insolvency of various athletics programs.
“However fair or unfair these critiques, and whatever their applicability to our university, a growing literature suggests that the operating model employed by Purdue and most American universities is antiquated and soon to be displaced,” he wrote.
Read the full story, by former TCF assistant editor, Robby Soave, at The Daily Caller.