WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on
Monday eliminated merit raises for administrators earning more than $50,000
annually over the next two years in the first in a series of cost-cutting
moves to cover the estimated $40 million cost of freezing tuition rates
Purdue posted a letter from Daniels on his web page Monday saying the move
will apply to senior administrators, deans and administrative and
professional staff. It will save the university $5 million over the next two
years, he said.
“It has been too easy in higher education for institutions to decide first
what they would like to spend, and then raise student bills to produce the
desired funds. That approach has run its course,” Daniels wrote in the
letter. “At Purdue, we will make our first goal affordability, accommodating
our spending to students’ budgets and not the other way around.”
The merit raise elimination doesn’t apply to faculty or clerical and service
staff, Purdue said.
Other cost-cutting moves will be announced in the coming weeks and will
address expenses and practices across all central university units, Daniels
said. Every academic, administrative and auxiliary unit of the campus will
be asked to closely examine all activities and their costs.
The cost of the tuition freeze represents 1 percent to 2 percent of the
university’s base budget over the biennium, Daniels said, and Purdue should
be able to cut more than that.
“I believe we should set our sights higher and work to create savings above
the $40 million that can be used to augment our inadequate funds for
scholarships and/or to extend the tuition freeze further,” he wrote in his
Daniels announced March 1 that it would freeze the cost of tuition at its
main campus in West Lafayette over the next two years because of the
lingering weak economy. The cost of basic in-state tuition there will remain
about $10,000 a year until the end of the 2014-15 school year. The last year
without a tuition increase on the main campus was 1976.
Daniels became Purdue’s president in January after completing two terms as