WESTVILLE | Students at Purdue University North Central grilled Gov. Mitch Daniels on topics ranging from the economy, a new campus building, health care and Indiana's timezone.
Daniels, who made his first visit to the campus Thursday, came at the invitation of PNC students Alexis Taylor Lange and Cassandra Chester. The pair first met the governor at a book signing in Greenwood last fall when he signed his book, "Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans." The two women saw him a few weeks later at Gary/Chicago International Airport for an expansion ribbon-cutting and made a bid to get him on campus.
Chester, who recently was elected president of the Student Government Association, said students have reacted positively to an open forum series sponsored by the organization. She said having the governor as a speaker would take the program "to the next level."
Daniels told about 200 students and faculty members at the informal session that in the last couple of years, thousands of college-educated students have moved into the state because of the climate of opportunity the state has created.
Daniels said he is concerned about college completion. He said too many people start college but don't finish.
"I'd like to remove the barriers and make it possible for a student to finish school in three years," he said.
To a question about a new activities complex on campus, Daniels said he would speak with the "budget people" about that.
Student Rob Stevenson said he was concerned about the value of the dollar dropping, leading to high inflation. Daniels responded the federal government is "printing too much money." He said the state's credit rating is strong at a Triple A, better than the federal government's credit rating.
Senior Remington Van Denburgh-O'Guin, who said he wants to be an entrepreneur, asked the governor what was being done to attract and retain small business owners.
Daniels said things such as tax breaks and the new right-to-work law will attract small business owners.
"Most of the jobs will be created by young entrepreneurs like yourself," Daniels said. "The future of this country lies with people like Remington who will be creating jobs."