WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Purdue president Mitch Daniels is firing back at U.S. Senators who oppose Purdue's plan to acquire Kaplan University.
The Senators call Kaplan "predatory" while Daniels says they're "misinformed."
The Kaplan deal has been met with backlash since it was announced in April.
Last week, more than 300 faculty members signed a petition opposing it and now two Democratic senators are joining the fray.
In September, senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sherrod Brown of Ohio wrote Purdue president Mitch Daniels a letter opposing the Kaplan Deal saying "Indiana taxpayers risk becoming owners of a predatory for-profit college"
"Purdue is a great University, Kaplan is not. The question is 'what is Purdue buying here? This so-called 'New University' comes with a lot of strings attached," said Durbin. "President Daniels apparently believes the State of Indiana is going to make up the difference."
But in response, Daniels says the senators didn't do their research.
"I'm embarrassed for them. Someone else wrote the letter. It has blatant factual errors. Someone told them the taxpayers of Indiana might wind up responsible if ever there was a debt. There isn't and won't ever be," explained Daniels.
One of Senator Durbin's major platforms is opposition to for-profit institutions. He explained, "Kaplan is part of a for-profit college industry which is notorious in Washington for outrageous federal subsidies and miserable results with students deep in debt."
Daniels responded with, "Unfortunately somebody misled the senators about that. After all, they are from far away. They're busy. They can't be expected to check the veracity of everything somebody peddles to them. It's not a matter of interpretation, it's a matter of fact."
Durbin added, "I will tell him, the good name and great reputation of Purdue University is so much different than Kaplan. Why Purdue wants to be part of that operation, I don't understand."
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education granted approvals in August to launch "NewU."
The final decision is now awaiting approval from the higher learning commission.
The full text of the letter sent to Daniels by Durbin and Brown can be read by clicking here.
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