October 2, 2020

Trustees approve Daniels’ 2019-20 at-risk pay at 89%

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 2) reviewed the 2019-20 performance evaluation for President Mitch Daniels and voted to approve his at-risk pay at 89% based on measures set out by trustees in December 2019.

Trustees congratulated Daniels on continued significant achievements, identifying three among many successes over the past year as the university continues to innovate and work to build a better world through its learning, discovery and engagement missions.

A $40 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. for the Gateway Engineering and Polytechnic Complex topped the list of significant achievements. The successful completion of the reputation-enhancing “Giant Leaps” 150th anniversary celebration and the opening of a second Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis contributed to the final evaluation. Other achievements noted by the board included the grand opening of SEL Purdue (Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories) in the Discovery Park District, the launch of the Purdue Fast Start program and a successful decennial accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.

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 (30%) and operations (25%). In the past six years, Daniels has received 103%, 100%, 88%, 90%, 96% and 95% of his at-risk pay.

2019-20 saw continued improvement in four- and six-year graduation rates and the continued lowering of the average debt per undergraduate student to $3,495. In addition, time to degree for undergraduates dropped to 3.98 years, and the freshman to sophomore retention rate improved to 93.5%, both measures exceeding the goals set out last year by trustees.

Board chairman Michael Berghoff and Tom Spurgeon, chair of the board’s Compensation Committee during 2019-20, said Daniels earned 89% of his at-risk pay this year with 22 (out of 20) percent in student affordability measures, 27 (of 25) percent in student success measures, 12 (of 30) percent in fundraising and 28 (of 25) percent in operations. Trustee Malcom DeKryger now chairs the Compensation Committee and led Friday's discussion.

Daniels reached eight of the 14 metrics that make up his at-risk pay. He exceeded the goal in three of the metrics. His only shortfalls were in fundraising and global student enrollment, both expected with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In every case, trustees have raised the bar every year and have continued to be impressed with Daniels’ leadership and the efforts of the faculty, staff and students of Purdue.

In addition to his base pay of $430,500, which at his request was set lower than his predecessor’s, Daniels will receive $191,572.50 in at-risk funds, forfeiting $23,677.50 in accord with the 89% performance formula result.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University 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/.

Media contact: Tim Doty, 765-494-2080, doty2@purdue.edu 

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