Purdue University to slash government lobbying

Purdue University -- among the strongest lobbying forces in higher education -- will soon slash its government affairs efforts in Washington, D.C., two federal lobbyists familiar with the decision tell the Center for Public Integrity.

The decision, confirmed to the Center by a Purdue official, will involve terminating its contract with a large outside lobbying firm and shrinking the budget of its office in Capitol Hill.

The school's D.C.-based in-house lobbyist, Director of Federal Relations Lisa Arafune Pickett, is also leaving the university.

"Yes, we are downsizing our effort," said Chris Sigurdson, the university's assistant vice president of external relations. "We're looking to save money, and we're looking for ways to keep Purdue more affordable."

Sigurdson said he did not know precisely how much money the university would save by shrinking its lobbying efforts, but he described the cuts as "considerable" and "in progress."

FaegreBD Consulting, which along with its predecessor firms have lobbied for Purdue since the 1990s, will no longer represent the university, Sigurdson said.

Purdue has yet to file a formal lobbying termination report with the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, congressional records indicate. A representative from FaefreBD Consulting could not be reached for comment.