Indiana, Purdue university presidents continue IPFW management talks

The question about IPFW transitioning into a Purdue campus still looms despite opposition from its Faculty Senate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The future of which university – Indiana or Purdue – will govern IPFW remains uncertain as the June 30 deadline approaches. That’s the date when the current management agreement expires.

Under the current management agreement, Purdue University is the responsible corporation for managing and operating IPFW. In January, an Indiana General Assembly working group recommended the universities separate into two distinct campus operations, and establish a clear designation as a Purdue campus. The recommendation calls for Purdue to serve as the sole governing entity, managing offices and programs, and has 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 under the recommendation.

After the Legislative Services Agency’s 55-page report was released, the IPFW Faculty Senate unanimously voted to send a resolution to the presidents and boards of trustees at the universities urging them to reject the proposal.

On Thursday, though, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie issued a joint statement that indicated the two schools are still discussing the various recommendations. The presidents want to focus on improving IPFW enrollment, student success and contributing long-term to northeast Indiana, according to the letter.

“By its June 30 expiration, the Management Agreement between Indiana University and Purdue University, establishing the governance of IPFW must be renegotiated and renewed. The two schools will commence their discussions taking into account the recent recommendations of the Legislative Services Agency Working Group and the endorsement of that framework by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the IPFW Community Council, and various individuals and community leaders. The universities’ goal in crafting a renewed agreement will be to reverse the troubling decline in IPFW enrollments, improve the rate of student success, and strengthen the school’s contribution to the long-term prosperity of Northeast Indiana. We are pleased that these important regional community organizations and leaders understand and share that goal.”

Trustees at each of the universities must approve any new agreement.

In the upcoming weeks, the presidents plan to appoint a group to finalize a plan and create strategies for completing whatever is agreed upon, the letter said.

Regardless of what decision the universities come to, IPFW said current students will be able to complete their degree requirements and receive their degree from the university currently in charge of their program.

IPFW enrolled 12,700 students in the 2015 fall semester.

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