President Daniels' welcome letter to freshmen outlines expectations

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June 10, 2013

Dear Student:

I am writing with great excitement to welcome you to Purdue University, your home for the next four years. If we do our job well and you hold up your end, they will be the most important years of your life to date, and ones you will remember for a lifetime.

An essential part of “your end” is conducting yourself at the level of character we expect of Purdue students. Our rules are simple, and likely already a firm part of your values system. But I thought it only fair to state them to you now, before your first day on campus, so that you have full notice of how seriously we take these matters:

  • Academic honesty — Whether in examinations, course assignments, or research, cheating or plagiarism are a subversion of the education process, grossly unfair to honest students, and will be dealt with severely. Students are expected not only to maintain their own integrity but to demand that same integrity from their peers.
  • Respect for others — A great strength of Purdue is the wide variety of nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, lifestyle preferences and faith traditions of its student body. We strongly believe, and you will see on our campus, that differences aren’t deficiencies, but rather opportunities for learning. We expect each student to respect all such differences and behave accordingly. Any discrimination or intimidation on the basis of race or other such characteristic is unacceptable, and those who practice either are not welcome at Purdue.
  • Freedom of expression — A wide spectrum of opinions is natural and necessary at an institution of higher learning. Purdue encourages vigorous, open debate; we ask that disagreements remain civil, but we insist that the public square remain open to all. Any attempt to silence or intimidate others in the exercise of their free speech rights will be confronted firmly.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse — Obviously we expect Purdue students to obey the laws of our state in all respects. Even when its use is lawful, alcohol when abused can lead to conduct with which the University deals sternly.

Your high school record gives every indication that you practice good behavior and possess a strong, positive personal character. Most likely, the above admonitions are unnecessary. But it is exactly because we harbor the highest of hopes for your time at Purdue and beyond that I have written you this letter. Meeting these basic standards of conduct and character will do much more than get you through your Purdue years without trouble. It will serve you well and enhance your success throughout the life of leadership we know lies ahead.


Mitchell E. Daniels Jr.