Mitch Daniels’ decision to step down as president of Purdue University has sparked significant speculation about a potential return to politics and another run for the governor’s office. And while the former two-term governor is leaving the door open, he’s doing his best to dampen that speculation. “I wouldn’t rule it out, Gerry, but I can assure you it’s not the first, second or third thing on my mind,” said Daniels, adding, “I was never obsessed with public office and I’m not now.”
Daniels talked about his tenure at Purdue, his successor Mung Chiang and what’s next for the university on this weekend’s edition of Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Purdue announced June 10 that Daniels, 73, would be leaving the job he’s held for nearly ten years January 1. He’ll be succeeded by Chiang, currently executive vice president for strategic initiatives and the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering at Purdue.
Chiang joined Purdue in 2017 and since that time has led the College of Engineering to its highest-ever rankings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, according to Purdue. The university adds he has also played a central role in attracting new companies and jobs to the Purdue Discovery Park District.
Daniels calls Chiang the perfect successor.
“He’s brilliant,” said Daniels, noting Chiang was a recipient of the Maxwell Prize, which is given to the best American scientist under the age of 40. “He is ideally suited for the Purdue of today, the Purdue we have tried to build for ten years, a national STEM powerhouse now attracting brilliant students from all over the country in record numbers and I just think he is perfectly positioned to lead our university and to lead it for a long time.”
You can watch Part 2 of our interview with Daniels below: