Daniels' pay at Purdue depends on improvements

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - How much former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels earns in his new job as president of Purdue University will depend on factors like graduation rates, student debt and academic excellence.

Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Spurgeon says the keys to Daniels' salary all depend on student success.

Trustees will calculate Daniels' incentive pay next year.

Daniels' could earn $546,000 from his contract with Purdue this year, including a $420,000 base salary. Thirty percent of that -- $126,000 -- is considered a performance incentive.

Trustees are waiting for final academic census numbers before they make final decisions on how much they want Daniels to improve on a particular issue.

For his part, Daniels says he's more interested in changing up the establishment than the number on his paycheck.

Daniels now wants to establish Purdue as the nation's premier place for "value" education. He told the Indianapolis Business Journal  he's emphasizing a low-cost, high-efficiency business model.

He's also trying to overturn the age-old system of values in higher education in which each school is essentially ranked by whichever school spends the most money on the most things wins.

Daniels said he's trying to come up with new ways to measure student learning, graduate success and the university's overall academic quality.

Before he makes any changes, though, he'll first have to convince the school's skeptical professors that his plans aren't just politics.


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