IU Board of Trustees approves IPFW realignment

The realignment could mean IPFW would be come to known as Purdue Fort Wayne

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WANE)  The Indiana University Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a proposed realignment of IPFW that will have a drastic impact on the future of the Fort Wayne university. The Purdue Board of Trustees is expected to adopt the plan during its meeting on December 16.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie issued the following statement Thursday afternoon following the vote which would create two separate universities with Purdue controlling a bulk of the campus which would fall within the Purdue system.

The last five years have seen numerous studies and initiatives undertaken by the state legislature, the Fort Wayne community and the IPFW campus that examine the governance structure of IPFW. All efforts have had at their core how best to provide for the educational interests of the region and the economic growth of northeast Indiana. Each endeavor has had merit, but until now there has been no definitive answer to the question, “What is best for the campus community and its many stakeholders?” While neither Purdue University nor Indiana University initiated any of these studies, we have done our best to respond to their recommendations.

The plan of realignment approved today by Indiana University’s Board of Trustees, which is expected to be adopted by Purdue’s trustees at their Dec. 16 meeting, reaffirms both universities’ commitment to the Fort Wayne community, while differentiating the institutions’ respective educational contributions. Indiana University’s focus on the health sciences is based on substantial evidence of regional demand and apparent opportunities to build partnerships with local healthcare providers. Purdue University will conduct an immediate analysis of potential new programs in both STEM disciplines and the humanities that will attract new students and position the campus for a strong and successful future. The plan is designed to create a seamless experience for both IU and Purdue students on campus through course availability, the delivery of student services, and the use of campus facilities.

Under the realignment proposal, the IPFW name may be changed and replaced by Purdue to clearly identify Purdue as the governing entity.  Purdue intends to solicit input and seek naming suggestions from various people associated with the Fort Wayne campus and the greater community at large.

IU students enrolled on campus would have access to all student services, including housing, parking, student organizations, etc.

IU and Purdue have operated IPFW as a joint campus since 1964.  Under the realignment, Purdue would take over control and oversight of most of IPFW, except for health science programs.  Nursing, radiography and dental education would be transferred to IU.  The realignment would take effect July 1, 2018.  While talk of changing the structure of IPFW has been discussed for years, efforts got into high gear when the Indiana General Assembly directed the Legislative Services Agency look into the the governance of IPFW in part because of a continuing drop in revenue related to a decrease in the number of student enrolled credit hours.  In January, the IPFW Faculty Senate voted against the proposed realignment.

Following the vote by the IU trustees, IPFW issued a news release indicating the university will continue to work with Purdue and IU to implement the changes with a “view toward making it a  success for our students, our campus community, our city and the Northeast Indiana region.”