Purdue continues to make national headlines with tuition freeze, military partnership and Gallup-Purdue Index

May 14, 2014  

USA Today op-ed

A USA Today editorial on Tuesday (May 13) applauded President Mitch Daniels for Purdue's tuition freeze, stating that he will ask trustees on Friday to continue the freeze for a third straight year. 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue continues to make national news with last week's Gallup-Purdue Index,  the announcement that the Board of Trustees plans to freeze tuition for another year and the university's partnership with the U.S. Navy.

A USA Today editorial on Tuesday (May 13) applauded Daniels and Purdue for the tuition freeze, stating that Daniels will ask trustees on Friday to continue the freeze for a third straight year. The tuition freeze, Daniels told USA Today's editorial board, "turned out not to be terribly hard to do." He asked school leaders to shift their thinking, saying, "Instead of asking our students' families to adjust their budgets to our desired spending, let's try to adjust our spending to their budgets." The editorial states that Purdue is showing that drastic drops in state government funding is not the whole story, and, "perhaps Daniels should teach an online course for college administrators. Call it Belt Tightening 101."

The Indianapolis Star and Lafayette Journal & Courier also carried the editorial.

Purdue's May 8 announcement of a statement of cooperation with the U.S. Navy on alternative energy use has generated about 80 media placements around the nation, including the Miami Herald, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and San Antonio Express-News.

The groundbreaking Purdue-Gallup results revealed May 6 are making headlines nationwide, and Daniels has been called on widely to speak about the study and its implications for the future of higher education. Since its release, the report has generated nearly 600 media placements.

Even before the announcement was made in front of 200 opinion leaders during an 11:15 a.m. webcast, media outlets broke the story, and the news spread rapidly in a matter of hours. While in Washington for the announcement, Daniels appeared on a nationally syndicated radio show, met with reporters and editors of USA Today, taped a video appearance on USA Today's television stations and online, and taped a segment with news anchor Judy Woodruff to air Wednesday (May 7) on PBS Newshour. In addition, Daniels spoke about the survey to a Monday (May 5) evening gathering of public policy leaders, higher education thought leaders, officials from the White House and U.S. Department of Education, and members of Congress.

The initial Gallup-Purdue Index report showed that where you go to college doesn't matter as much as what you make of the experience. A video of the presentation can be found here.

The study, which will be used as a national benchmark going forward, found students who were closely engaged with faculty or participated in an internship-type program were more likely to be engaged in the workplace and had a high level of well-being.

The survey results were published in major national print publications including the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, and the Los Angeles Times. The study was also reported on National Public Radio, which reached its local affiliates across the United States, and on broadcast television newscasts nationwide as well, from Alaska to Massachusetts and even Guam. The news spread most rapidly online, through news organizations and trade magazines, as well as popular blogs and higher education websites.

Social media also jumped on board with lot of chatter on the GPI report. Blogger Tim Fricker from Canada (@timfricker) tweeted: "Real engagement! – New Gallup-Purdue survey what matters in college to work and well-being."

Another Twitter user, Kyle Stoner from Chicago (@kwstoner), posted a link to the Wall Street Journal article about the report, saying, "More evidence that Daniels is on to something."

M. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, weighed in on the report. He issued a statement, saying in part, "I applaud Purdue University President Mitch Daniels for his leadership in this endeavor. We'll undoubtedly all learn more about the full impact and value of a college education and the importance of ensuring students are actively engaged as we continue to digest these and future findings."

The comprehensive survey of more than 30,000 U.S. college graduates with Internet access will be released annually for the next five years. It is the first of its kind and a response to the call for increased accountability in higher education.

Following the announcement, Daniels discussed the report during several media interviews. Other national attention the report received included:

If Purdue can freeze tuition, so can others: Our view
Editorial Board, USA Today

Military to partner with Purdue for greener energy
Miami Herald

Study measuring value of college prizes engagement over elite for long-term well-being
PBS NewsHour

In college, nurturing matters
New York Times column

College grads grade their higher education
USA Today (video), Detroit Free Press and Gannett papers around the nation

Elite colleges don't buy happiness for graduates
Wall Street Journal

A caring professor may be key in how a graduate thrives
Chronicle of Higher Education

Gallup-Purdue Index: College is all about what you make of it
Indianapolis Star and Journal & Courier

Gauging graduates' well-being
Inside Higher Education

Survey assesses how well college graduates are doing in life

Writer: Liz Evans, 765-494-2084, lizevans@purdue.edu

Related websites:

The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Report: http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/168791/gallup-purdue-index-inaugural-national-report.aspx

Gallup Home Page: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx?ref=logo

Lumina Foundation Home Page: http://www.luminafoundation.org/

APLU Statement: http://www.aplu.org/page.aspx?pid=2965

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