Purdue University President France Cordova announced last year that she was stepping down from her post in the middle of 2012. We've known she was leaving for some time. As divisive as she was during her tenure, the choice of her replacement will only divide us even more. Current governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels is expected to be named the 12th President in school history on Thursday. H&R resident writer Andy summed it up best today on Twitter:
Sounds like this Mitch Daniels hire is as devisive as you'd expect. I guess that was the inevitable response when hiring a politician.
Really, that's what we'll see. Daniels has face a lot of criticism, but he comfortably won a pair of terms in office. His second term saw him bicker with a democratic-controlled legislature, but he worked hard to make up a budget shortfall, thus showing he understands the very basic concept of "Don't spend more money than you have." He fought bitterly with the unions, but worked hard at job creation. One of my favorites was his healthy Indiana plan, which encouraged people to take their health into their own hands with health-promotion programs like smoking cessation.
I realize this is not a political forum, but clearly there are people that are going to like Mitch Daniels and those that hate him. Being that this is a major educational institution it seems like it could benefit Purdue. Daniels' history with public secondary education was... contentious at best. He did, however, push for the expansion of higher education. He created the online Western Governor's University and pushed for more adults to continue their education past high school.
One of the things that I like is that he will continue Purdue's fiscally conservative nature. He was one of very few politicians that actually worked to balance budgets as opposed to spending recklessly or bickering over money the state didn't have.
My main concern is how the next few months will go. Cordova is leaving July 1, and Daniels will be finishing his term as Governor of the next six months. I was a student during a transition period (Beering to Jischke) and honestly, I don't remember it being that big of a deal. When the sitting Governor is taking over for the trustees he appointed, however, it is something bigger.
Before going more political, I'll open the rest to the comments. Please, keep it civil, people. I don't have the time or the patience to become a cop here.