WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has chosen Gina DelSanto to join the University on Feb. 18 as his chief of staff.
DelSanto will directly report to the president and will also coordinate the operations of the Office of the President.
She is the second position Daniels has made who directly reports to him. Like Daniels, she will be working on a performance-based salary.
"I'm deeply honored by the opportunity to serve President Daniels and the Purdue community," DelSanto said. "I look forward to employing my knowledge and experience in undergraduate teaching, academic research, higher education administration and public service as Purdue works toward its aspirational future."
Daniels said working on a performance-based salary was her idea.
"She brought it up before I did. She liked what the University had done in my case and wanted, as I had wanted, to use that approach," explained Daniels.
According to the offer letter, DelSanto will have a base salary of $145,000 with $25,000 more available in incentives for specific, reasonable objectives that Daniels agrees with.
DelSanto is a native of Rhode Island and received her master's and doctorate in humanities from Indiana University. She has instructed courses in foreign language, composition and literature at IU, Middlebury College and Butler University, where she was the director of learning resources and later the associate provost.
DelSanto came on to Daniels' state administration team in 2009 as senior deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In that role, she managed the state workforce board and also led an effort to reform the state's workforce investment system and adult education program.
Then in 2012, she was named senior associate commissioner and chief of staff for the state Commission for Higher Education. In that role she focused on implementation of Indiana's strategic plan for higher education: Reaching Higher, Achieving More.
But Daniels said he has never worked with her directly.
"I've certainly known her awhile and known how strong her reputation is and has been in each of the jobs she had," Daniels said.
In her new job at Purdue, she will advise Daniels on countless system-wide, campus and external issues; help to establish priorities and policies; and work to advance key projects.
She'll also be the president's representative to committees, boards, commissions and events as needed.
Early last week, Daniels announced his first hire as Purdue's 12th president. Daniels hired an in-house legal counsel who will advise Daniels and the Board of Trustees with legal matters.
"We think it's a great opportunity to oversee our legal strategy, as well as get a handle on our legal expenses," said Keith Krach, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Steven Schultz will take over as the new legal counsel. As News 18 has already reported, Schultz worked as chief legal counsel to Daniels when he was Indiana governor. His salary is set at $240,000 annually.
In other news, at the Board of Trustees committee meetings Thursday, the Physical Facilities Committee approved a lease with Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis. The lease is part of a $3.3 million, 10-year lease for office space for the Purdue pharmacy program.
Also, the Academic Affairs Committee approved cooperative programs in the College of Engineering and Krannert School of Management.
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