INDIANAPOLIS | State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, called Tuesday for the resignation of top Purdue University officials for their perceived support of a "jihad against academic freedom."
Brown wrote the letter to the Purdue University board of trustees, claiming members supported Purdue President Mitch Daniels' past attempts to keep a liberal historian's text from being used in a teacher development program.
The Republican former governor has come under fire following recent disclosures that in 2010 he sought to keep historian Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" from being used in professional development programs for Hoosier teachers.
Daniels insisted in a letter sent Tuesday to Purdue faculty that he was merely protecting the academic standards of Indiana elementary and high schools, just as he is now committed to protecting academic freedom at Purdue.
Brown, one of Daniels' fiercest critics when he was governor, said it's obvious Daniels actually was trying to dictate what the state's colleges and universities are allowed to teach.
"I believe his conduct in this entire affair is in shocking opposition to any mission of an institution of higher learning, and his dismissal must be immediate," Brown said.
Brown acknowledged the Purdue trustees disagree with him in light of their approval last week of a $58,000 performance bonus for Daniels.
While he said that led him to question the sanity of Purdue's 10 trustees, Brown said he's not surprised because Daniels appointed nearly every trustee to the board that hired him to be university president.
Brown said the trustees would be acting in the public's best interest by resigning as soon as possible.