6. Purdue trustees, and I note here that I am a Purdue alum, have no teeth in their current conflict-of-interest bylaws. In fact, if there is a conflict raised before the board, they can vote to make it not a conflict according to their own bylaws, essentially allowing them to look the other way. Who holds them accountable? The governor who appointed them, who in this case, they just hired.
7. Academic environments, by definition, are places where ideas from all viewpoints, parties and countries are welcomed and embraced. By choosing a partisan president who likely will remain politically active in his new job, the environment will at least have the appearance of not being open-minded to faculty, students or administrators whose beliefs or personal histories run contrary to Daniels’.
Short of former House Speaker John Gregg being elected in November and a majority change on the Purdue board of trustees, the Indiana Ethics Commission or both, this kind of story of “executive privilege” that benefits the connected in Indiana may continue unchecked indefinitely. The only two-party system we may have are ethical Republicans and Republicans who anoint themselves past whatever barriers are before them.
• Dave Kitchell is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached through the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.