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Purdue president Mitch Daniels discusses retirement, record enrollment numbers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — According to a release from Purdue University, they set an all-time student enrollment record in West Lafayette, with 50,884 students enrolled this fall.

The release says this tops last year’s record of 49,639. That number includes 17,964 Indiana students. A Purdue spokesperson said nearly every Indiana resident who completed an application received an enrollment offer somewhere in the Purdue system, and over 75% were offered a place in West Lafayette. The release says Purdue also hired 213 new faculty members for this school year.

In spite of those record numbers, Purdue is also expecting some other changes. Purdue’s president, Mitch Daniels, is expected to retire at the end of 2022. News 8 spoke with Daniels Thursday morning about what’s driving these enrollment numbers, as well as his plans after stepping down from his role as president.

“I’d like to think that it’s simply the fact that people have decided this is one of the best values in higher education, and that’s what we set out to do here. We like to know that that’s in our state of Indiana,” Daniels said.

Members of the Biden Cabinet visited the campus last week. Daniels gave a statement explaining how this came about for the university.

“They called and asked. They invited themselves and we were happy to have the call. We do believe we have to play a role as one of the nation’s leading stem, that is science, technology, (and) engineering schools in the revival of the semiconductor industry, both for economic and national security reasons,” he said.

In a statement, Daniels explained what he plans to do after stepping down as president.

I’ve got work to do here. We’ve just announced yet another significant step. That is our intention to separate and create a genuine Purdue technology presence there in Indianapolis, something that people in that community have been asking for a long time. Even this week, we’re going to announce another big initiative, so I’ve got things on the plate. I was raised, we all were to, you know, run through the tape, and tomorrow, we’ll deal with tomorrow when it gets here.”

Purdue University President, Mitch Daniels

Watch the video above for more.