Site menu:


August 2014 - Volume 22, Number 3


Click Here for a pdf version.



My Favorite Governor, After the ’Stache!

by Deborah D. Thornton

Mitch Daniels, former Governor of Indiana – now President of Purdue University and one of my earliest political mentors – is now involved in what may be the toughest fight of all, to cut the administrative bureaucracy and bloat at a major research university. The bureaucracy at Purdue has grown by 75 percent in the last 13 years, requiring significant tuition increases. A February 2014 report from the Delta Cost Project documents that the increased wage and salary cost at colleges (including Purdue) is driven by student services, including but not limited to athletics, admissions, psychological counseling, and career counseling.


Even the former president of the faculty senate, J. Paul Robinson, recognizes something must be done, saying, “A blind man on a galloping horse at midnight with sunglasses on can see the problem.” Daniels has, among other things, cut 10 cars from the Purdue fleet, and identifies the problem – as all families trying to live within their means understands – as cutting lots of little things and minding every penny that goes both in and out.


As Reason magazine says, higher education can’t “provide an affordable education to middle class and low-income families while also hiring a bajillion more residential advisors, vice presidents of sustainability, diversity coordinators, and other paper pushers.” Daniels, one of the smartest people I’ve known – both intellectually and politically – has never hesitated to take on the establishment, even of academia – and as he holds a law degree from Princeton, has the credentials to back him up.


Maybe when Daniels gets done at Purdue he’ll move to Iowa. There are three universities and a bunch of private colleges here who could use his help!


IOWA ECONOMIC SCORECARD is our quarterly economic forecast, arriving in February, May, August,
and November. It consists of statistics about and analysis of the Iowa economy.


IOWA ECONOMIC SCORECARD is published by Public Interest Institute at Iowa Wesleyan College, a
nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and educational institute whose activities are supported by contributions from private individuals, corporations, companies, and foundations. The Institute does not accept government grants.


Contributions are tax-deductible under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.


Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from IOWA ECONOMIC SCORECARD, a quarterly newsletter of Public Interest Institute.” The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry because IDEAS DO MATTER.




All of our publications are available for sponsorship.  Sponsoring a publication is an excellent way for you to show your support of our efforts to defend liberty and define the proper role of government.  For more information, please contact Public Interest Institute at 319-385-3462 or e-mail us at