Mitch Daniels, “Re-Inventor” of American Higher Education


On August 10, the Chicago Tribune has published an editorial titled “How Purdue Is Re-Inventing the American University.” No author is identified.

The article title is both misleading and hyperbolic. It is misleading because it focuses entirely on Mitch Daniels and not on any broader initiatives within the university. It is hyperbolic because it does not include any detail supporting the claim that anything is occurring at Purdue that will substantively reshape that university, never mind the whole of American higher education.

Here is the gist of the Tribune’s case that Daniels is re-inventing American higher education:

“In 19 months as president of Purdue University, the former Indiana governor has frozen base tuition after 36 straight years of increases. The freeze lasts at least through the 2015-16 academic year.

“Along the way, Daniels cut the cost of student dining services food by 10 percent. He’s saved big money…

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