Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mitch Daniels to Move a Bit North

France Cordova's time as President is nearly over...and I'm kinda "meh" about her time in power (at best). Her predecessor, Jische, only held the post for 8+ years, but raised an immense amount of money for Purdue and spearheaded some large building projects.  I believe the campus changed more in those 8 years than it had in the previous 25.  And the guy who was there for 13 of those 25, the president when I was on campus, Beering seemed to be more of an administrator than fundraiser and politician-type.  In fact, Beering reminded me a bit of a principal of a large high school- everyone knew who he was, not many knew him or saw him around campus, and not many liked him either.
Definitely not going to be a VP candidate
Now, the current Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels is set to follow Cordova after nearly six years at the post.  Daniels is a guy that most people in Indiana either love or hate...but I think he'll be a pretty good fit for one of the most conservative educational institutions in the Midwest.

Political views aside, Daniels record is pretty conservative*...and personally, he's been known to call himself "cheap".  Plus, I think it'll be easier to believe he's actually interested in basketball or football games than Cordova.  That might have been the biggest rub to me about Purdue's current Pres- it always looked forced to me when she was at a game...but at least she tried; not all University presidents do that.

No one will ever question Cordova's intelligence...in fact, she's an academian's academian who spent most of her career on or around a college campus.  Daniels though, is a politician...and most of his career has been either in office, or working for someone who was elected.

The big question is: How does this affect Boiled Sports? Probably not at all.  Just like the previous presidents, unless you're looking for something to complain about, it won't matter much to you.  BUT, Cordova and the Board of Trustees have taken a higher percentage of the BTN TV contract money than any other institution in the conference.  That, at least to me, is garbage...and as the arms race for bigger and better facilities in the B1G allows even IU and Northwestern to build sizable, high-end football offices and training rooms, Purdue's athletics can't afford to take such a hit...in the long term.

But, the decision of how the funds are taken and allocated is probably going to be out of Daniels' hands.  But one thing is sure- the next president will probably help decide who the next AD is since Burke probably won't keep that office for the next decade...so this decision will have an effect on the athletic department, and most-importantly, Boiled Sports.

We're pretty critical when Purdue screws things up...so it's only fair to throw down some praise when the university does something right- My opinion is that Purdue got this one right.  The guy knows how to lead, has a tremendous resume and has a recognizable name that much of the state knows and respects. Well played, trustees...now put some more money back into the hands of the athletic department.

*conservative meaning he doesn't spend a ton of money


Boilergal said...

I love this pick! I think Daniels will prove to be a great choice made by the trustees. I am pretty embarrassed by the ignorance of a lot of fellow Boilermakers in their criticism of this choice. Its one thing to be critical, its another to prove your ignorance of politics and the state of the state in a lot of the statements I have seen.

ex: Daniels appointed some of the trustees!!! OMG, that's his job as governor!

ex: Daniels was too concerned about balancing the budget!!! OMG, that's his job as governor! It's in the state constitution!

Just proves the term "dumb masses"!

Unknown said...

I must be part of the dumb masses because I not completely sold on this and also believe that this will be a tough sell to the faculty based on his background and lack of a Phd. If you look at the funding of higher education with Daniels in power I would say this is poetic justice.
Maybe he can convince Tony Dungy to come to WL but I will wait and see before I praise or question this hire.

P.S. All opinions are valid, some are more powerful than others.

phoenyx29 said...

Daniels is a businessman and a politician, with no academic experience. Purdue's mission is academic-first, but this decision was purely money-influenced. There's no doubt Mitch will raise more funds than any previous Purdue president, but his lack of experience within academic institutions makes this a (negatively) stunning hire to me. What's more, it's Purdue policy that department heads and administrators cannot be over 65, which is why Cordova was ousted...and Mitch is 63. There must have been many more qualified candidates, but for one reason or another (relationships with the Board, national headlines, etc) Purdue wanted (and got) the biggest 'name-brand' out there, seemingly just to make a big splash. And THAT is what disappoints me about this, because I never thought Purdue would be the state school that lived for headlines.

ATL_Boilers said...

I've not been in the state at any point since Daniels was elected so I'm reserving judgement on any of those aspects. I will say that he seems like a pretty likable, "fan friendly" type guy from what my friends in Indy have told me. I'm just kind of glad Cordova is on the way out... especially after seeing her with ZERO enthusiasm when Purdue alumni basically invaded Rice for that game (maybe she had inside info on the outcome).

Will be interesting to see what a new type of leadership compared to his predecessors does to the University.

Boiler Up!

Purdue Matt said...

"Daniels is a guy that most people in Indiana either love or hate..."

Considering he won with 60%+ in the republican blood bath of 2008, I'd say a lot more people love him than "hate" him. I know a lot of left leaning folks that really like and voted for Mitch. My mother is a bleeding heart liberal, but after meeting Mitch she is a big fan.

COD said...

Beering came to Atlanta for some big Purdue alumni dinner when I was President of the Purdue Club of Atlanta. PAA had us call every kid in GA that had been accepted to Purdue and invite them to the dinner, on the University. I gained a lot of respect for Dr. Beering that night. He made a very serious effort to talk to every high school kid that evening, and he was dynamite one on one with the kids. I'll bet Purdue set a record for GA attendees that year. My impression of him from my years at Purdue was similar to yours, but seeing him work the high school kids in the room and sell them on Purdue was pretty damn inspiring.

indyhudson6 said...

COD, I was also in Atlanta for Dr. Beering's visit. I remember it was right before the Olympics.

boilerdowd said...

Good story, COD.

jay.westfall said...

Royal Proclamation: From this point forward, ALL "My Man Mitch" t-shirts must be Black and/or Gold!

Anonymous said...

Being President is more of an administrative and political position than academic. This is an outstanding hire. Hopefully, he can undo some of the sissification that was done since Cordova has been president. With my son considering becoming an engineering student at Purdue, I want Mr. Daniels there if my son goes.