Trustees Chair Keith Krach: Remarks upon selection of Mitch Daniels as Purdue's 12th President
Today is a special day for Purdue and a great day to be a Boilermaker. I want to thank Mike and the committee for all their hard work, energy and dedication in conducting such a thorough search.
From the very beginning, one name that surfaced repeatedly was Mitch Daniels. At the time it seemed like a long shot, considering that a growing number of people were encouraging him to be a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
I had numerous in-depth conversations with him, selling him on the opportunity at Purdue. During those conversations, it was clear to me that he has a passion for higher education and a love for this University.
After Governor Daniels decided not to run for President of the country, I introduced him to our presidential search committee, who then added him to the candidate pool, which brought us to today.
Before I say more about our 12th President of Purdue University, I'd like to note that Provost Tim Sands will serve as interim President while the Governor completes his term, keeping the promise he made to the people of Indiana.
As most of you know, Provost Sands is a respected leader, an accomplished researcher, and a tireless advocate for Purdue. Thank you, Tim, for your leadership and service to Purdue.
Speaking on behalf of the Trustees, there is so much to say about why we are so excited about this presidency. He is a man of tremendous depth, heart, and integrity. Let me share with you just three of the reasons for his selection:
1) He is a distinguished leader.
- As a two-term Governor with the most votes in Indiana's electoral history, he has proven that he knows how to effectively and successfully lead a large institution with diverse constituencies. He managed the business affairs of the state during one of the most difficult economic periods in history, turning a deficit into a surplus.
- He knows how to build a high-performance team, and attract and retain the best talent. At Purdue, that translates into not only attracting and retaining top-notch faculty and staff, but also the best and brightest students from around the world.
- He is a visionary, a strategist, an innovator, but most of all, he is a doer. These are critical qualities at a time when higher education is at such an inflection point.
2) He has a passion for higher education.
- Although he has not made his career in Academia, he is thought of as a public intellectual. With degrees from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton followed by Georgetown Law, he then went on to lead the Hudson Institute, one of the top research institutions in the US, and is a published author.
- He is an advocate for higher education, research excellence and the scientific disciplines. His commitment to our land-grant mission and furthering academic excellence will surely be a hallmark of his tenure at Purdue.
- Perhaps most importantly for this role, he believes that Purdue's reputation and future success is directly linked to the synergistic partnership with the Academy. We believe that the combination of our distinguished faculty and the Governor's unique skills will be an unbeatable combination.
3) He is a global statesman.
- Many people throughout our nation hoped he would run for President. We are thrilled that he will instead be focused on building an even better Purdue. We recognize that this announcement will bring tremendous attention to Purdue in the short term, but more importantly for the long term, his presidency sets Purdue apart as being a place of higher education that is open to big ideas and bold thinking.
- There is no doubt that the Governor will be a world-class ambassador to our alumni, international community, business partners, and both the state and national governments. This will be invaluable.
- On campus, it's hard to imagine a more exciting and engaging person to be our president. I can picture him engaging in philosophical discussions with our faculty, cheering on our Boilermaker student-athletes, inspiring our students to follow their dreams, and even riding his Harley around campus. These are just three of the reasons why we chose the Governor. Now, let's hear from the Governor why he chose us. On behalf of the Trustees and Boilermakers everywhere, it is my distinct honor to introduce the 12th President of Purdue University, Governor Mitch Daniels.