Trustees approve Daniels’ 2020-21 at-risk pay at 108%

WEST LAFAYETTE — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 1) reviewed the 2020-21 performance evaluation for President Mitch Daniels and voted to approve his at-risk pay at 108% based on measures set out by trustees in December 2020.

Mitch Daniels

Trustees congratulated Daniels and the university’s faculty, staff, and students for their efforts and achievements over the past year.

Malcolm DeKryger

“In light of the challenges of the pandemic, we are very impressed and pleased with the way that President Daniels has met and even exceeded the metrics set out for him,” said Malcolm DeKryger, chair of the board’s Compensation Committee. 

Daniels’ salary, one of few in higher education using an at-risk formula, is based on performance goals in four areas: student affordability (20%), student success (25%), fundraising (25%), and operations (30%). In the past seven years, Daniels has received 89%, 103%, 100%, 88%, 90%, 96% and 95% of his at-risk pay. 

2020-21 saw continued improvement in time to degree, now at 3.95 years, and an increase in the systemwide number of degrees awarded to 11,661. The average debt per undergraduate student also dropped again, to $3,335.

DeKryger said Daniels earned 108% of his at-risk pay this year with 22 (out of 20) percent in student affordability measures, 23 (of 25) percent in student success measures, 33 (of 25) percent in fundraising, and 30 (of 30) percent in operations.

Daniels reached or exceeded the goal in 13 of the 15 metrics that make up his at-risk pay, which was set originally at one-third of his salary and is reviewed annually. In every case, DeKryger said, trustees continue to raise the bar, including goals for increased graduation rates, lower undergraduate debt, and additional philanthropic support. Trustees indicated they continue to be impressed with Daniels’ leadership and the efforts of the faculty, staff, and students of Purdue.

In addition to his guaranteed pay of $430,500, which at his request was set lower than his predecessor’s, Daniels will receive $232,470 in at-risk funds for his outstanding performance in 2020-21. Daniels’ income ranks him in the middle of the Big Ten presidents.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

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