Bad Timing for UC Prez Nominee?

Inside Higher Ed today is running a lengthy story about how former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels – now president of Purdue – intervened to block use of a history book in public higher ed institutions in his state.  Excerpt below:

Mitch Daniels, as an unconventional choice to become Purdue University’s president, has repeatedly pledged his strong commitment to academic freedom. And many professors — including some who had questioned the wisdom of appointing a governor as university president — have given him high marks for the start of his work at Purdue. But on Monday, the Associated Press published an article based on e-mail records it obtained under Indiana’s open records laws. Those e-mail records showed Daniels, while governor of Indiana, asking that no public universities teach the work of Howard Zinn, seeking a statewide investigation into “what is credit-worthy” to see that similar works were not being taught for credit, and considering ways to cut state funds to a program led by a professor who had criticized him…

Some of the criticism of the nomination of Janet Napolitano, a former governor, has been answered by pointing to similar appointments at other institutions and Mitch Daniels is usually one of the examples.  Now that example doesn’t look so good.