WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Another semester is kicking off at Purdue University, and this time with record numbers.
University President, and former Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels said it is a landmark year for the university. Daniels said Purdue has its largest number of undergraduate students on campus this year. There are approximately 38,000 undergrads on campus this fall, and about 50,000 total students on campus.
“Purdue has grown explosively over the last 10 years, but we’ve grown faculty and support staff to match the student growth,” Daniels said. “We want the quality of the experience here and caliber of the education to be, if possible, to be even higher than it’s been historically.”
Despite staffing shortages and vacancies nationwide, Purdue also has its largest number of new faculty this year.
“We’ve had real good luck hiring,” Daniels said. “Now I think Purdue‘s reputation has helped us. We certainly hear that. We’ve been able to swipe some superior talents from other highly ranked schools. We’ve been fortunate not to have quite the same struggles many higher education are experiencing.”
On top of record enrollment on campus, Purdue has nearly 100,000 students within the entire university system, and more than 1,000 students within its polytechnic high schools. Purdue is now 30% larger than it was 10 years ago, according to Daniels.
“Those are all very gratifying landmarks for those of us who have been working to make this place bigger and better,” Daniels said.
Purdue University has also held tuition at a flat rate over the last decade, which means incoming students are paying the same tuition rate as boilermakers ten years ago. University leaders say affordability has always been a top priority.
“[It] has made a real difference,” Daniel said. “It will save thousands of dollars over the course of a Purdue education. We just think that’s the right thing to do and our job to make this place accessible to students of any background as long as they can meet our standards.”
This is Daniels’ last semester as president at Purdue. He said he is excited for the new semester, and it could hold as special spot as he wraps up his time at the university.
FOX59 also asked Daniels about his future political career and whether or not he would consider running for governor again, amid many Indiana republicans hoping he will do just that.
“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it at all,” he said. “None of this comes from me. My job and my intention is to keep my head down through the tape so to say these last five months at Purdue. We have some big things to complete, some big things to advance, a couple that we have just initiated. So my mind is going to be on those until the last day and then will think about the future.”