December 6, 2013

To the Purdue Community,

It is with sadness but also a deep sense of pride that I let you know this afternoon about the upcoming departures of two of Purdue's outstanding senior officers.

Minutes ago, Tim Sands was introduced at Virginia Tech as that university's next president. Tim will remain at Purdue through the spring semester and take over at Virginia Tech on June 1, 2014.

Also today, Marymount University in Arlington, Va., will announce that Al Diaz will be their next chief financial officer and treasurer. Al, too, will remain at Purdue through this academic year and take on his responsibilities at Marymount on June 1, 2014.

The departure of either Tim or Al, let alone both simultaneously, is a true loss to Purdue and to me personally. I have come to like, admire and rely on these two colleagues tremendously during our 11 months working together.

Given their talent and integrity, it was no surprise to learn that each had been approached with an offer too good to turn down, but I hope they will forgive me for letting my regret show.

In anticipation of his planned June 2015 retirement, Al and I already had agreed to recruit his successor by the middle of next year, enabling an extended transition of the treasurer's complex duties. That recruitment will now be accelerated as much as possible, as will the search for a new provost.

In Tim's case, I've told many people that it was only a matter of time before a major university made him its president. I had hoped earnestly that it would happen a little less quickly but I'm thrilled for him and for Virginia Tech -- they are getting a good man and a superbly qualified leader.

We are counting on Purdue's strong and growing reputation, to which these two men have contributed so much, to help us find the next great leaders in these critical positions.


Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. 

Purdue's Sands named Virginia Tech president
Purdue VP named top financial officer at Marymount University