(WEST LAFAYETTE) - Purdue University officials plan to vote on a candidate for the school's next president this week - and Gov. Mitch Daniels is the candidate in question.
Jim Shella of WISH TV reports that the Purdue Board of Trustees will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in Steward Center's Loeb Playhouse to vote on a nominee to be the school's 12th president. Several sources close to the proceedings that the nominee is Daniels. After the vote, the president-elect will be introduced, the school said in a news release.
Daniels' office had no comment Tuesday afternoon. However, sources with connections to both Purdue and the governor said it's a done deal.
It will be one more title for Daniels to add to a varied career that has included such posts as president of the Hudson Institute and vice president of Eli Lilly and Co., as well as White House political director and White House budget director.
Daniels is likely to complete his term as governor, while Purdue appoints an interim president.
The public is invited to the meeting and introduction. The vote and announcement will also be broadcast live on Purdue's website .
A search committee chaired by Trustee Michael Berghoff, with representation from the faculty, staff, students and alumni, identified the candidate.
France Cordova, the school's current president, is retiring next month after leading the school for five years. Her contract ends this month, and according to university policy covering top administrators, retirement is mandatory at age 65, unless an extension is granted. She turns 65 in August.
Daniels is Indiana's 49th governor. The Republican is serving out his second four-year term, and is prohibited by term limits from running again.
He was re-elected by an 18-point margin in 2008. Despite that popularity, he's faced opposition, including a 2011 state Legislature walkout as he tried to change labor laws.
He has focused his political agenda on reforming government services, reducing the state's budget deficit and promoting economic development.
He started his career as an aide to Sen. Richard Lugar and has served an advisor in Republican administrations in the White House.
He brought a business background to his current position, serving as Senior Vice President of Eli Lilly and Co.
He's been a frequent topic of speculation as a potential candidate for U.S. president and vice president. - something Daniels' has said he's wasn't interested in.
He is married and has four daughters and lives in Hamilton County.
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