Purdue trustees approve bonus for Daniels

Mitch Daniels
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Purdue University President Mitch Daniels is getting a bump in pay of $58,000 for his first six months on the job.

The increase comes just days after a controversy over a textbook.

The timing was purely coincidental. The meeting of the Purdue Board of Trustees came the same week President Daniels was already making news.

An Associated Press investigation discovered a number of emails authored by then-Governor Daniels in which he expressed disdain for Howard Zinn's book "A People's History of the United States." He also asked that the book not be used to teach Indiana school children grades K-12.

The Board of Trustees was unanimous in its sentiment and that was reiterated during the break.

"Beyond a shadow of the doubt, he believes in academic freedom. He's demonstrated that several times, articulated that. So everything is fine," said outgoing Purdue Trustee Chairman Keith Krach.

Board members expressed support for President Daniels before and during the meeting. Tom Spurgeon, the newly elected chairman, revealed just how pleased the board is with Daniels.

"The board has determined his performance has exceeded expectations," said Spurgeon.

Krach said he would have picked Daniels as the school's new president even if he had known about the emails. Krach told The Associated Press that he hadn't seen emails revealing Daniels' effort, and they wouldn't have changed his mind anyway.

The board heaped praise on its new president and voted to approve a conditional at-risk salary bump of $58,000 based on performance.

Afterwards, buoyed by the board's action, President Daniels reaffirmed his position.

"I guarantee you that if parents of Indiana take a look at his work 99% out of a hundred would agree with me that some other text book should be used," he argued.

Purdue knew it was getting a president from the world of politics. Now it will have to wait and see how long it will take for him to put that world behind him.

President Daniels makes a salary of $546,000, but $126,000 of that is tied up in an incentive payment program. Friday's $58,000 installment was part of that.