President Daniels praises Purdue Polytechnic

Purdue Polytechnic's "intriguing new ideas" are "well-matched to the moment," he says

In a forum with faculty and staff, Purdue President Mitch Daniels expressed strong support for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute and the College of Technology's transformative efforts.

"Many of you have come forward with very intriguing new ideas about a new pedagogy and a new direction for this college, and I have become enormously excited about it," President Daniels said.

The president discusses the initiatives with others statewide and nationwide frequently, he said, and enthusiasm for competency-based education is echoed everywhere.

"I can't get three sentences into a rough description of the methods and pedagogy that you're discussing, with people from the outside world, without them resonating swiftly and emphatically. When you talk about students who are led from the first day to become great problem-solvers, who have been working on projects frequently, who have been at the intersection of the humanities and technical disciplines -- I don't get halfway down the list, particularly with people from business, [and they say] 'Finally! Yes! Those are the kind of people we're looking for.' And then when you tell them that the goal is to certify specific skills, capabilities, and mastery of specific competencies, they're all in. I want to commend you for thinking this way."

The president said that he sees "the potential for something so differentiated [that it's] well-matched to needs of the national economy and very specifically to the economy of this state" since more graduates from the College of Technology stay in Indiana than from any other Purdue college. He also noted that the eight Statewide Technology locations could be instrumental in efforts to attract future students and the support of philanthropic organizations and legislators.

President Daniels touched on how the college's transformation will require significant adjustments to traditional processes. "Change is never easy," he said, "but you're here because you're experts at solving problems. Which of our colleges would I expect to be able to do something refreshingly different, carefully thought-through, and well-matched to the moment? It would be you."

Of the many Purdue Moves initiatives to enhance and advance the University's mission in the next few years, President Daniels said the College of Technology's transformation "is the one which I think has the chance to be the most important and noteworthy."

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