WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —
"If they're the best people for the job and it's a transparent process that got them there, then that's fine," Rogers said. "Anything less than that starts becoming a little bit of an issue."
Others have questioned the strength of Indiana's ethics rules after Pence waived a rule that would have required former Department of Transportation commissioner Michael Cline to participate in a one-year cooling-off period before being hired as Purdue's vice president for physical facilities. The state ethics commission signed off on former Department of Administration commissioner Robert Wynkoop's selection as managing director for the office of the executive vice president and treasurer.
Richard Skinner, a senior higher education recruitment consultant at Ohio-based Harris Search Associates, said it's fairly normal for a new university president to cherry-pick employees from previous roles but acknowledged that Purdue's numbers were "a little more than we would typically see."
"My impression is President Daniels has a fairly aggressive agenda for Purdue, and he may feel he needs to have trusted confidants working for him," Skinner said. "There's probably going to be some raised eyebrows for the first six or seven months."
Deborah Hohlt, who lobbied for the Daniels administration in Washington, D.C., and now does the same for Purdue on a contractual basis, said she's not surprised that Daniels' former colleagues want to join him at Purdue.
"My former colleagues in the governor's office would agree — when you ride the Daniels train, setting the standard for others to follow, unbreakable bonds of friendship, respect and loyalty are created that last a lifetime," Hohlt told the Journal & Courier in an email.
Daniels said his primary focus is on getting the right people in place to improve Purdue.
"The approach is demand the very best talent and performance," he said. "Then then public relations of it all will follow."