Purdue continues to strive towards excellence

WLFI File Photo
WLFI File Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue President Mitch Daniels received more of his at-risk pay this year than ever before, but he said he’s prepared to set higher goals for himself and the university.

“We want to set the standards high enough that it’s impossible to receive all the pay, and that’s a principle we’re trying to establish,” Daniels said.

He was awarded 96 percent of his at-risk pay for 2015. It’s a six percent increase from the year before, but Daniels said he wants to raise the bar higher.

“Each year, I’ve sat down with the head of the compensation committee and we’ve swapped thoughts on whether there’s something we haven’t been measuring that we should,” he added.

Daniels has a $420,000 base salary, and the Purdue University Compensation Committee recently awarded him $202,000 of his possible $210,000 at-risk pay.

He said the goal is to look at what factors affect the amount of at-risk pay received.

“Boilermakers like that,” said Daniels. “They want to be stretched and tested, and they think it’s fair that people with responsibility should suffer some consequences if things don’t go just right.”

Those factors include five weighted goals: student affordability, student success, fundraising, institutional reputation and excellence.

Daniels said he doesn’t mind setting higher goals for himself.

“There ought to be a consequence for not doing the best possible job, and so I thought it was important to start with me,” explained Daniels. “We’ve now got these kinds of contracts in place for a lot of other people in leadership capacities.”

Daniels said working hard to earn the at-risk pay will help the university get closer to achieving the goals in the Purdue Moves Initiative.

So far, he said they’re well on their way.

“There is a lot that’s new, and these investments we’re making and the ones that are now moving forward in the life sciences and in plant sciences, I do believe, are making us a stronger and even more noteworthy institution,” said Daniels.

However, he said there’s always room for improvement.

“The early indicators are good, but I want to make sure that we’re not misleading ourselves,” added Daniels, “That what we think we see is that Purdue is out ahead of most other schools in how many we’ve done and that we’re getting good results.”

Daniels said he will sit down with the compensation committee sometime soon to review the factors that determine his at-risk pay.