Committee Recommends Splitting IPFW, Purdue Taking Control

Jan 15, 2016

Purdue would retain control of the campus, but Indiana University would still be in charge of some programs, like its medical school.
Credit Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership / https://www.flickr.com/photos/northeastindiana/

A working group convened by the Indiana General Assembly is recommending splitting up many of the functions of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and making the campus an extension of Purdue. But the study includes little input from campus stakeholders.

The working group was convened by an act of the Indiana General Assembly, which has taken an interest in how regional campuses of IU, Purdue and Ivy Tech are serving students.

But IPFW Faculty Senate Chairman Andy Downs, a member of the working group, says he voted against the 50-plus page document because it has an unwelcome air of inevitability.

“Instead it was language like ‘implementation teams’ and ‘transition teams’ and those sorts of phrases were used," Downs says. "And I think that implies that some things were a done deal that they’re not.”

“Well it’s clearly not a done deal.”

Purdue Trustees’ Chairman Michael Berghoff, who also chaired the working group, says those teams will decide how to make the changes.

“It doesn’t mean that the concept that’s been proposed can’t be improved through the implementation teams," Berghoff says. "And when I say ‘improved,’ it means parts of the concept might get rejected.”

He says the legislature wouldn’t have been well-served if the working group had produced just a feasibility study.

“Feasibility studies and assessment studies usually result in long-term exercises than don’t produce any action and result,” Berghoff says.

He adds IPFW faculty, staff and students who will sit on the so-called “implementation teams” can suggest that some of the tenets of the document should be changed, but he doesn’t think they’ll have the power to reject it outright.