Purdue experiences Daniels backlash

Purdue University will lose a million dollars because of the selection of Mitch Daniels as it’s next President.  A retired dean from Purdue, Marilyn Haring, is changing her will.  A million dollar bequest to the Purdue College of Education is being removed.

Dean Haring sent an email to Purdue officials that says “I regard the appointment of Mr. Daniels as a travesty and insult to academics.”  The Lafayette Journal and Courier acquired the email, which also says, “The appointment of Mr. Daniels cannot add to the academic luster of Purdue; and I believe it inevitably will detract from that luster.”

Meantime, a Youtube video featuring Purdue student Colleen Richards is part of the effort to stage a protest of the Daniels selection on the Purdue campus tomorrow.  There’s also a facebook page devoted to the protest by people who believe that trustees appointed by Daniels had a conflict of interest when they voted for him.  “I was furious and I still am,” says Richards in the video.  “The energy is going into the protest and educating people about why the nomination is unethical.”

The governor is aware of the protest and yesterday did nothing to discourage it.  “Minorities have their rights,” said Daniels. “The response to the appointment has been overwhelmingly positive by every measure.  But it’s a huge community, 40,000 students and thousands of faculty and alums, and of course not everyone will agree and I respect that.”

You can also find an open letter to trustees on the Internet.  It comes from graduates protesting the Daniels selection and seeking co-signers.  The protesters hope that eventually Daniels will back away from Purdue but that seems unlikely.

Purdue trustees believe that, in the end, the Daniels choice will lead to increased giving to the university.  The opposition is something they anticipated.

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I feel that taking that money away from Purdue is hurting the students more than anything. It's not their fault that Daniels is the new President and shouldn't be taken out on them.

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