Mitch Daniels is stepping down as president of Purdue University after 10 years, according to an announcement made Friday. And on the same day an heir was named – without public input.
Purdue did not respond to a media inquiry into the closed internal search process, which deviates from the norm at public universities when it comes to finding a successor to a departed president.
Daniels, a former governor of Indiana from 2005 to 2013, joined Purdue in 2013 after his term expired. Daniels will leave the presidency later this year and be replaced on January 1 by Mung Chiang, who is currently serving as dean and executive vice president of engineering for strategic enterprise.
Last year, Chiang was considered a front-runner for the presidency of the University of South Carolina before being dropped for consideration, citing responsibilities to his family and Purdue.
Once Daniels expressed interest in retiring to the board, an internal search for his successor began, according to Details have been shared with local journalists At the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, where the announcement was made. Other internal candidates were also considered. Chiang said at Friday’s meeting that he had first been contacted about the president in April.
Chiang Daniels was the unanimous choice to succeed him, according to a Purdue News release where Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Berghoff noted that Chiang had turned down other offers.
“He has demonstrated not only academic excellence, but also administrative skills, effective relationship-building and public communication skills with academic, government and business partners,” Berghoff said in a rental announcement press release. “He brings the complete package of talent and experience needed to take our university further. Not surprisingly, Mung has been offered the presidency of several other schools, and the board is grateful that his loyalty to Pardu has kept him here, and that the transfer will be available as soon as it is available. “
Prior to Purdue, Chiang spent nearly 14 years in various roles at Princeton University. Chiang has completed his undergraduate education, postgraduate degree and PhD. At Stanford University.
Purdue made the rent after an internal search.
“The Board of Trustees is empowered by statutes and by-laws to screen and elect the President of Purdue University through any process it deems fit. In this case, it was decided that there are enough qualified internal candidates to fill the position without external search. So, board members are informally collecting feedback and input from interested candidates and announcing their election on Friday, June 10, ”Colin Brady, chair of Purdue’s University Senate, said via email.
Across Indiana, government officials have praised the work that Daniels has done and celebrated the new hire.
“During his 10 years at Helm, Mitch has provided higher education at the highest proven value throughout his tenure, from frozen tuition to building a national online university, establishing a network of Indiana STEM charter schools, and investing a record in the world. -Class research, “Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement Friday. “He has always kept Purdue’s land-granting mission as his core strategy and has spent every day opening the door to higher education for every hujir who is willing to work on building a boiler.”
Holcomb added that he was “interested in working with Dr. Mung Chiang while he was pulling the strings.”
Pamela Whiten, president of Indiana University, also paid tribute to Daniels.
“Congratulations to Mitch Daniels for his great success in leading the party. He is an extremely valuable colleague; We wish him well. Dr. to be elected president of Purdue University. Congratulations to Mung Chiang, too. ” Whitton tweeted Friday. “I look forward to student success, research and progress towards our shared goals of empowering the state.”
Some higher education observers found the move confusing because of how the search was conducted in a secret fashion, with both Daniels and his successors retiring on the same day, noting that the process used in Purdue deviated from the norms of public institutions. .
“To my knowledge, this is a very unusual arrangement for a public institution,” said Neil Hutchins, a professor at the University of Mississippi who studies legal issues in higher education.
Although Hutchins has said that some states have reduced transparency in investigations, limiting the number of candidates announced as finalists, the Purdue method here is characteristic of the presidential appointment process.
“It simply came to our notice then. To me, that seems to be cutting off transparency and the ability to get feedback from different constituencies across campus, ”Hutchens said.
David Sanders, a professor at Purdue, told local TV station WLFI that the surprise appointment had limited the university’s ability to properly examine Chiang as he stepped into the role of president.
“We can’t guarantee the best results without knowing if it was an open process,” Sanders told the TV station on Friday. “There were other instances at other universities where they were employed in this closed process, and it was found that if there was an open process, information about the employer would come out. And they will not be considered. It would have been better if it had been an open process, if they had been injured in the shooting, or if the person had gone ahead because they had not been properly verified. “
Daniels has left a legacy in Purdue that has seen him both celebrated and condemned. He has been praised for 11 years of tuition freeze, the development of corporate partnerships and the growth of student organization among other achievements. At the same time, Daniels has been criticized for expanding Purdue’s online offer by acquiring the troubled Kaplan University, and has taken the wrong step when commenting on the gender gap between black scholars and students.
Daniels told reporters at Friday’s meeting that he was not weighing other job offers and had no immediate plans to leave Purdue later this year.
Daniels joins other high-profile college presidents who have announced plans to retire in recent months, including Lawrence S. of Harvard University. Baco also has 6