February 3, 2023

Purdue’s next big move: The Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business

Branded with the name of a transformative leader, Purdue’s reimagined School of Business launches into an exciting future

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue’s next big move in a decadelong series of major strategic investments will honor a celebrated president who led transformative change during his tenure, as plans for the state-of-the-art Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business were approved Friday (Feb. 3) by the university’s Board of Trustees. The reimagined Daniels School will prepare tomorrow’s leaders and entrepreneurs, grounding them in the hallmarks of a Purdue education, including STEM disciplines and business analytics. 

“To be associated with any aspect of Purdue’s academic enterprise is an inestimable honor, but this one in particular touches me deeply,” said Daniels, Purdue’s 12th president, who retired from the role in December. “Practiced with integrity, business careers are the noblest of life choices; they create new jobs and wealth for others and bring into being the resources which the public and nonprofit sectors take to pursue their goals. This modernized School of Business will send out its graduates armed with a sense of mission and the tools to fulfill that mission in the most complex of enterprises.” 

This announcement (see YouTube video) marks the first time Purdue’s business school will have a formal name. The board committed to retaining the Krannert name, long associated with the school’s graduate offerings since the naming began, for its graduate and executive degree programs within the newly named Daniels School.

Charting a new course for business education, the Daniels School will be marked by graduates who embody the values of wisdom and creativity, grounded in a firm grasp of today's technologies and their likely evolution; who are aware of the history of progress that freedom of enterprise has created and continues to advance; and who are trained to lead and inspire others with strength and decisiveness. The reimagined Daniels School will instill these values and qualities, preparing each graduate as they leave Purdue to found and lead businesses and be the successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders of tomorrow.

The new name not only celebrates Daniels’ acclaimed tenure as Purdue president, but also his highly reputed business acumen in the private sector. Before his time at Purdue, Daniels held several top executive posts in an 11-year career at Eli Lilly and Company, including president of Eli Lilly’s North American pharmaceutical operations and senior vice president for corporate strategy and policy. Fortunes soared during Daniels’ tenure, his longest in any role in his professional life, as part of the leadership team that saw assets, revenue and income more than double. He also has served as CEO of the Hudson Institute, which is a major contract research organization, and on the boards of a number of public and private companies, including Penske Entertainment, Norfolk Southern Corp. and Interactive Intelligence. 

As the 49th governor of Indiana, Daniels transformed the nearly $800 million deficit he inherited into an annual surplus of $370 million within a year. Daniels reduced the state’s overall debt by 40% and left Indiana with a budget surplus, reserve funds equal to nearly 15% of annual spending and its first AAA credit rating. The public-private Indiana Economic Development Corp., Daniels’ first legislative success while in office, broke previous records for creating new jobs in the state and was associated with more than $18 billion of new investment. In 2008 Site Selection Magazine and CNBC both named Indiana the nation’s Most Improved State for Business. Thanks to the turnaround under the Daniels administration, Indiana has enjoyed favorable national rankings of business attractiveness and job creation to this day.

“President Emeritus Mitch Daniels is regarded as the most innovative university president in America, and his private sector business leadership is as outstanding as his public service. It is truly fitting and exciting to place his name upon this impactful growth to the Purdue landscape,” said Mung Chiang, Purdue’s 13th president. “Through the launch of the Daniels School of Business, Purdue will have a world-class business school that carries out even more top-caliber research and educates many future leaders of a technology-driven, free market economy.”

The advances of science across almost all economic sectors have created a clear need for a future crop of business leaders who fully understand not only the data in front of them, but also from where the next breakthrough may come. At the Daniels School, students will master the skills of gathering big data and using it to drive business decisions to become the most valuable working professionals of today and tomorrow. This transformation will be rooted in preeminence in business analytics and degrees that blend business with technology, which will enable Purdue to scale innovation.

Capitalizing on the momentum of a 33% enrollment increase since 2019, bucking the trend of declines in college-going rates nationwide, the Daniels School of Business relaunches with ambitious plans to increase the undergraduate student body significantly, double the enrollment of the graduate school, and significantly add to the facility’s physical size through expansion and renovation. The initial phase will also include attracting large cohorts of preeminent faculty and national thought leaders, as well as curricular and experiential education additions. With excellence at scale, the Daniels School positions Purdue to become a world leader in business education and a top 10 business school, with its graduates uniquely prepared to bring discoveries to the marketplace and scale up innovations.

The Daniels School will build upon Purdue’s mission as a land-grant university to provide affordable and accessible education while combining technological excellence and business expertise. Some of that foundation has already been established with Purdue’s recently inaugurated Integrated Business and Engineering degree; its highly ranked business analytics programs; the new Dean V. White Real Estate Finance program; and the Larsen Leaders Academy, further propelled by a $10 million gift from Marshall and Susan Larsen. The Larsen gift was celebrated last fall to create a competitive advantage for students entering business.

Mike Berghoff, chair of Purdue’s Board of Trustees, said Purdue will invest a minimum of $100 million into the relaunch, along with a fundraising campaign of $200 million from loyal donors, underlining the determined commitment to making the Daniels School of Business one of the foremost business schools in the nation through new academic programs, innovative learning opportunities and top-notch faculty recruits.

Historically, Purdue has celebrated many graduates who have become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, with eight alumni currently serving in that role as measured by Academic Influence. The move toward the Daniels School of Business further builds on a standard of excellence at scale at Purdue, beginning with the College of Engineering, where both the graduate and undergraduate degree programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (4th and 9th, respectively).

Purdue was the only university selected by Fast Company as a “Brand That Matters” in 2022, earning the distinction for the second consecutive year. Purdue was also named America’s No. 4 most trusted public university by Morning Consult. It has been recognized as a top 10 public university by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education and a top 10 Most Innovative University for five years straight by U.S. News & World Report.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu. 

Writer/Media contact: Derek Schultz, dcschultz@purdue.edu 

Sources: Mitch Daniels, Mung Chiang

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