Purdue’s President Denies Trying to Censor Universities as Governor

Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Purdue University’s president, said at a news conference on Wednesday that he had never tried to limit academic freedom in his past role as Indiana’s governor, a day after the Associated Press published an article and e-mails showing that Mr. Daniels had sought to prevent a liberal scholar’s work from being taught in the state’s classrooms. Mr. Daniels called the AP’s report “unfair and erroneous.” He said he would have defended the rights of Howard Zinn, the late Boston University historian whose work he had criticized.

Daniels told the AP in an email Tuesday that it was “encouraging” to find Zinn’s book wasn’t being used in K-12 classrooms but that he never sought to censor universities.

He said at his news conference Wednesday that if Zinn had tenure at Purdue, “I would defend him and his rights not to be dismissed for the nature of his work.”

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