"I've kept Purdue waiting one semester, and that is long enough," he said. "Everybody — I mean everybody — keeps saying 'How long a break are you going to take?' And I keep saying, 'What is a break?'
"I think that it is time to get to work."
The Purdue Board of Trustees voted in June to hire Daniels to replace France Cordova, who stepped down in July after five years leading the 75,000-student university system.
Provost Tim Sands has been the school's acting president and will return to his position as Purdue's top academic officer once Daniels begins.
Since being selected in June, Daniels has held dozens of meetings with Purdue faculty members, staff and students, including a series of open forums on the West Lafayette campus.
The Purdue trustees in December approved a five-year, five-month contract for Daniels giving him a base pay of $420,000, which is near the bottom of the Big Ten conference universities.
He will be eligible for a 30 percent performance-based bonus — based on various benchmarks not yet detailed — that could take his pay to $546,000, which would be about five times his salary as governor.
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