FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) An Indiana General Assembly working group tasked with studying the role and governance of IPFW has recommended the university become two separate universities, though with a clear designation as a Purdue campus.
The Legislative Services Agency, tasked by the Indiana General Assembly last year to convene a working group to study the school’s operation, recommended in a 55-page report released Friday that IPFW transition from a single multi-system university into two distinct campus operations. In the LSA’s recommendation, Purdue would serve as the sole governing entity, managing offices and programs, with Indiana University maintaining its medical school and overseeing the health science and medical education programs. Indiana University would also establish an inter-professional health sciences center, the recommendation reads.
What’s more, IPFW could be rebranded as Purdue University Northeast, the recommendation report suggests.
Mike Berghoff, chairman of the working group, said the potential benefit of separating IPFW’s two universities and allowing each to focus on their particular strengths is “tremendous.”
Vicky Carwein, chancellor of IPFW and a member of the working group, said while the LSA’s recommendations raise many possibilities for the future of IPFW, the university will perform its due diligence.
“It’s important to remember that the recommendations from the LSA and the LSA working group are exactly that — recommendations for the future of our campus,” said Carwein. “While there is significant potential and exciting opportunities outlined in the recommendations, many questions, issues, and technicalities will need to be addressed. Right now there are many more questions than answers.”
At an assembly at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center to discuss the recommendation, officials reiterated that the LSA’s recommendation report is a proposal, not a feasibility study. As such, any changes and transitions would require approvals and work, officials said.
With that in mind, officials said current IPFW students, faculty, or staff members will feel no immediate impact.
The school said current students will be able to complete their degree requirements and receive their degrees from the university that is currently in charge of their programs, and the current employment status of faculty and staff members will not change.
The recommendations will be respected, however. IPFW officials said in the coming weeks, the recommendations will be evaluated – involving discussion, negotiation and sorting through details – and plans for how best to move forward will be development.
“The work of the teams over the next weeks and months will be critical to charting the path forward,” said Carwein. “We look forward to active involvement in the process and exploring the possibilities for the future.”
NewsChannel 15’s Chris Darby is following this story. Follow him on Twitter at @CMDarby.