3/11/20 Mitch Daniels

Purdue President Mitch Daniels answers questions regarding future campus events after the decision to change all classes to an online format. 

Purdue President Mitch Daniels attended a virtual 'town hall' discussion Wednesday afternoon with two other university presidents to discuss COVID-19 and the "mission of the U.S. public university."

Daniels reiterated some of the details about "de-densifying" classrooms and workspaces that were approved by the Board of Trustees on Tuesday but added some points regarding dining courts and residence halls.

“Double” dorm rooms were measured “head to head” to ensure a distance of 10 feet is maintained between sleeping residents, Daniels said. Smaller rooms, in which this distance is not possible, have been converted into “singles.”

Changes to dining courts might include a restaurant-style format. Students “may not have, say, 16 choices to choose from but one,” Daniels said, “and the food may be brought to your table.”

During the event hosted by The National Academies, Daniels also discussed the possible financial strain Purdue — and other universities across the country — may face because of the crisis. He says big cuts in revenue are expected this fall.

He isn’t worried about it.

“Purdue, fortunately, has (money) reserves,” Daniels assured. “Expense will not be an obstacle, in terms of safety.”

Daniels ended the discussion with messages to incoming freshmen and returning students:

“Even with all the changes we’ve made, and you’re (still) not comfortable — don’t come. We have a full-online option, and you can come later if your grades are good enough.”

“If you’re not prepared to accept some inconveniences for the protection of others," he said again, "don’t come. You’re not for us. At least, not right now.”

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