Purdue pursuit of Daniels took 1 yearJune 22nd, 2012 at 2:42 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
Details of the negotiations that lured Mitch Daniels into the job as President of Purdue University emerged today.
It was not long after Mitch Daniels decided to forgo a run for President of the United States, a little more than a year ago, when members of the Purdue Board of Trustees approached him about becoming their President. Daniels appeared in downtown Indianapolis along with two of the Purdue trustees to fill in the blanks behind his planned move from government to academia.
Gone was the pomp and the crowd from yesterday’s announcement, replaced by a discussion of what took place behind the scenes. “We knew we just couldn’t find a better leader on the planet for Purdue,” said trustee Keith Krach, “so we did a lot of selling up front.”
Daniels was one of three finalists identified by a 13 member search committee. The other two remain unidentified. “I can’t tell you that,” said trustee Mike Berghoff. “I mean, these are people who have really rewarding careers right now and wouldn’t be served very well if we revealed who they were.”
The announcement timing forces Daniels to avoid politics in an election year and Purdue must appoint an interim President. Daniels disclosed that the trustees offered to delay the vote but he said no. “I was self-conscious,” he said, “not to force Purdue off its timetable. They had a timetable they mapped out, it was already a lengthy process.”
The trustees also explained why Daniels won’t be subject to a mandatory retirement at age 65. The governor is 63 and will be given a five year contract that includes a waiver of the retirement policy. In other words, the contract trumps the policy. His pay still hasn’t been negotiated but the governor said his contract will be performance based.