Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was introduced Thursday as the next president of Purdue University, quashing speculation that he would be tapped as a vice presidential candidate or a Cabinet appointee should Mitt Romney win the White House in November.
Purdue officials announced the former White House budget director and Eli Lilly executive Thursday would be the university's 12th president following a unanimous vote by the school's Board of Trustees, eight of whom were appointed by Daniels. One trustee was out of the country and did not vote.
The governor will replace France Cordova, who is stepping down in July after five years at Purdue's helm.
Daniels, 63, is expected to bring a business-minded approach and an image as an efficient manager to the job he takes over in January, after his second term as governor ends. But he'll also find himself on the flip side of a challenging education environment that has seen state money for public institutions decline dramatically in recent years.
As governor, Daniels ordered $150 million carved out of state higher education funding in December 2009 as the state's revenues declined. Purdue's state funding has fallen from a peak of $262 million in 2008-09 to $233.9 million for the just-completed school year.
The university also came under fire from state lawmakers over its tuition increases at the height of the recession. Purdue's in-state tuition rates have risen by as much as 62 percent since 2004, according to figures provided by the university.
Daniels has rejected university leaders’ contention that state aid cuts have forced them to raise tuition.