President Daniels Celebrates and Challenges the Purdue Community in 2017 Open Letter

Read the full letter here


It has become a tradition for President Daniels to release an open letter to the Purdue community at the start of each new year. Daniels kept with this trend once again this past week, issuing an extensive review of the major events which occurred at the University throughout the past year. The president proudly spoke of the “Degree in 3” program, debuted by the College of Liberal Arts to not only allow students to graduate in three years, but to save up to $19,000 during the course of their education. He stated his hopes for “…incoming Boilermakers [to] take advantage of this chance to reap those benefits while showing the world what go-getters they are.” Along the same lines financially, Daniels reminded the community of his institution of a sixth consecutive tuition freeze year, allowing total student debt to fall 37%. 57% of 2017 graduates were debt free, displaying the powerful effect this action truly has on students and families.


From an academic standpoint, Daniels commented on grade inflation, which is sweeping through higher education, describing it as, “…counter[ing] to the longtime Purdue culture of challenging students and pressing them to reach their full potential.” However, Daniels attributed the increase in student academic achievement at Purdue to the increasing quality of freshmen. While a more detailed report analyzing possible grade inflation on Purdue's campus will be released later this year, Daniels stands firmly in his belief that, “…in a sea of leniency, a university that maintains tough standards of performance will set itself and its graduates apart in a highly positive way.  Purdue’s record of nearly universal job placement supports this contention.”


The president also voiced his support for the purchase of Kaplan University, recently dubbed Purdue University Global, stating that the move brought Purdue up to speed with many other universities in terms of educational access for more students. While the purchase was questioned by some, Daniels upheld his doctrine that providing education to as many people as possible is in the spirt of our land-grant institution.