INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels says he's not bothered by critics of his appointment as Purdue University president, and their naysaying won't stop him next year from leading the six-campus school that includes sites in Hammond and Westville.
"The response to the appointment has been overwhelmingly positive by every measure I'm aware of," Daniels said. "But it's a huge community — 40,000 students, thousands of faculty and alums — so, of course, not everyone will agree and I respect that."
Last week, a former Purdue dean said she will cancel a planned $1 million gift to the university due to Daniels' hiring. About 60 students calling themselves the Society for an Open and Accountable Purdue demonstrated Saturday on the West Lafayette campus because Daniels appointed a majority of the Purdue trustees who elected him president.
The Republican governor is no stranger to protests. Speaking to reporters Friday about the Purdue response, Daniels recycled a line he used frequently when thousands of union workers protested Indiana's right-to-work law outside his Statehouse office door during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.
"Minorities have their rights," Daniels said.
While Daniels is unlikely ever to be loved by most union members, he seems to believe he can win over his Purdue opponents by improving the university.
"We're going to do all we can to make a great school even greater in the future," he said.