WSJ: Notable & Quotable. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels To Purdue University

As new president of Purdue University, this is what he wrote in an open letter Jan. 18.

"Every university community should embrace the shared responsibility to re-examine current practices and expenditures with a determination to keep its tuition and fees within the reach of every qualified student. We should all remind ourselves every day that the dollars we are privileged to spend come, for the most part, from either a family or a taxpayer.

We measure many activities by FTEs (full-time-equivalents); we should likewise see every $10,000 we spend as a "STE," a student tuition equivalent. Any unnecessary expenditure of that amount could instead have enabled a student to attend Purdue for a full year...
I must subscribe entirely to the concept that major decisions about the university and its future should be made under conditions of maximum practical inclusiveness and consultation. The faculty must have the strongest single voice in these deliberations, but students and staff should also be heard whenever their interests are implicated.

I will work hard to see that all viewpoints are fairly heard and considered on big calls, including the prioritization of university budgetary investments, and endeavor to avoid surprises even on minor matters to the extent possible.

Shared governance implies shared accountability. It is neither equitable or workable to demand shared governing power but declare that cost control or substandard performance in any part of Purdue is someone else's problem. We cannot improve low on-time completion rates and maximize student success if no one is willing to modify his schedule, workload. or method of teaching.

Participation in governance also requires the willingness to make choices. "More for everyone" or "Everyone gets the same" are stances of default, inconsistent with the obligations of leadership."