While actions speak louder than words, sometimes what is said or written offers hope.  That is why this extended letter from the new president of Purdue University is refreshing in its honesty and insight.  Mitchell Daniels Jr. lists all of the criticisms against higher education in America.  He doesn’t duck them.  He says he believes Purdue is different but he is open to change sweeping higher education.  Still, he is new to the office.  Academic bureaucracy may yet weight him down and prevent him from acting.  The difference is that he appears to have a focus that rings through his words.  He knows where he wants to go.  It would be good if more university presidents showed the same honesty instead of hiding behind academic jargon and euphemisms.  Perhaps it comes from knowing that their jobs are nearly impossible and that in many cases, all that is expected of them is to be fund raisers for a dysfunctional system that wants to continue as it is.  Daniels has made a good start in proposing a new agenda.  True public relations will be effecting his vision in the years to come.

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