Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Money is a common topic on WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, and this month is no stranger to such talks.

On this month's show, we address with Purdue’s President the decision – after a longer period of time than some schools took – to finally to part ways with the founder of Papa John’s over his use of a racial slur.

We’ll talk about Daniels’ recent editorial claiming states like Connecticut that are in dire financial straits could look to Indiana for help. A couple newspaper editorials disagree with his assertions and say Connecticut – and other states – deserve more from Indiana than they get.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As we were preparing for this month’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, a question came in from a loyal listener. Why, he asked, would Purdue even consider taking the name of Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter off of the business center his $8 million gift to Purdue helped endow, even if Schnatter admits to repeating a racial slur on a conference call with his company’s executives? Wouldn’t that be tantamount to limiting free speech on campus?

Jae Lee / WBAA News

In the last few years, Purdue has spent significant time and resources on trying to improve its recognizability in the global defense industry. The school now has its own defense research institute, but it was recently informed it did not win a bid to run the nuclear weapons-researching Los Alamos National Laboratory.

This month on WBAA’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, we ask whether the bid was designed as a profile-raising exercise as much as anything else.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

In his yearly commencement address, Purdue President Mitch Daniels urged graduates to help stop the tribalism that’s plaguing the country. He also repeatedly mentioned how they could use the wealth they’ll generate to benefit society. But on this month’s conversation with him, he disagrees with the notion there’s a wealth gap in America, saying the statistics have been trumped up.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Shortly after we taped this month’s conversation with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, the school’s trustees announced he would stay on as president until at least 2021, with year-to-year contracts after his current deal ends.

As you’ll hear, the president didn’t let on during our discussion that the new contract was in the works, but he does say some interesting things about whether it’ll be him or his successor who ends the school’s tuition freeze.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Modern college classes practically require internet access. Students do research and answer online polls, but Purdue University is finding that Netflix and online gaming are taking up an unexpectedly high amount of bandwidth. So the school is considering limiting WiFi in classrooms.

On this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, what’s a school to do in the internet age? Force students to -- GASP -- take paper notes?

Jae Lee / WBAA News

One of the big themes this year at Purdue University is tracking. The school plans to better track how efficient its business process are. However, implementation of a new human capital management system has already incurred at least a half-year’s worth of delays.

Employees are being asked to track their health more closely, and are being incentivized to exercise by being offered small discounts on health insurance. But how is the school tracking whether people actually go to the gym?

Jae Lee / WBAA News

Although Purdue has chosen an official name for its online University, the so-called “Purdue Global” still hasn’t received final approval from the school’s accreditation agency, the Higher Learning Commission.

In fact, Purdue officials expected to receive feedback from the HLC weeks ago, but still haven’t.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

A funny thing happened when Purdue President Mitch Daniels wrote a recent editorial for the Washington Post. The article came with the headline: “Is anyone ever wrong anymore,” and hundreds of commenters on the websites of various papers that ran the opinion piece tossed the question back at the former governor and appointee of the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

Jae Lee / WBAA News

As the Higher Learning Commission, a regulatory body charged with accrediting colleges, gets closer to making recommendations about Purdue’s proposed merger with Kaplan University, the heat on Purdue President Mitch Daniels is increasing.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has called Purdue’s leader out specifically on Twitter, saying he’s misleading people about the deal.

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