Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. is the 12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana.
He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for any elected office, and then reelected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate for public office in the state’s history. During his tenure, Indiana went from bankruptcy to a AAA credit rating, led the nation in infrastructure building, and passed sweeping education and healthcare reforms. After a series of transformations, which included the biggest tax cut in state history, the nation’s most sweeping deregulation of the telecommunications industry and a host of other reforms aimed at strengthening the state’s economy, Indiana’s business climate is now rated among the nation’s best.
At Purdue, Daniels has prioritized student affordability and reinvestment in the university’s strengths. Breaking with a 36-year trend, Purdue has held tuition unchanged from 2013 through at least the 2018-19 academic year. Simultaneously, room rates have remained steady, meal plan rates have fallen about 10%, and student borrowing has dropped 30% while investments in student success and STEM research have undergone unprecedented growth.
Free speech has also been an area of emphasis. Under Daniels’ leadership, Purdue became the first public university to adopt the University of Chicago Principles of Free Expression, and is now one of just two dozen institutions to maintain the highest ratings for the protection of free speech. In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in March 2015.
Prior to becoming governor, Daniels served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. He also was the CEO of the Hudson Institute, a major contract research organization, and the president of Eli Lilly’s North American pharmaceutical operations.
Daniels earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Georgetown. He is the author of three books.
He and his wife Cheri have four daughters and six grandchildren.