A report released by the Legislative Services Agency Friday recommends Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) break into two separate regional campuses.
LSA conducted the report after Sen. David Long, R- Ft. Wayne, asked for a study to look at how the regional campus was serving the area.
The report criticized certain aspects of the campus’ success:
Over the past decade, the external and internal governance structures for IPFW have not produced substantial growth in the areas of teaching and research that are important for the well being of Northwest Indiana and its citizens. For example, a gap in offered bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral or professional degrees affecting at least 17 occupational fields and 15 degree and certificate programs.
The report suggests Purdue be the authority of the campus, removing IU as a governing entity.
For the campus to be successful, the report recommends the school should split from being a joint entity run by both Purdue and IU into two campuses, with each school focusing on its strongest programs.
In this case that would mean IU would run the medical and health science programs and Purdue would oversee everything else.
Right now, students at IPFW receive a diploma from either Purdue or IU, and last year IU awarded more certificates, associate degrees, bachelor and master’s degrees than Purdue at the campus.
In a statement released Friday, IPFW chancellor Vicky Carwein said this report is not a mandate.
“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.”
IU President Michael McRobbie released a statement Friday saying despite the report IU wants to still serve Fort Wayne in terms of higher education.
“Indiana University is committed to higher education in Fort Wayne and the northeast region of Indiana. The Working Group’s recommendations offer a way forward for IU to focus on programs in Fort Wayne that we would manage and that leverage our core academic strengths in the health sciences area,” McRobbie said. “We find these recommendations to be a creative response to the recurring claims that something needs to be done to enhance the public higher education programs in Fort Wayne. We remain willing to do our part to implement the recommendations as they relate to Indiana University.”
The decision on whether to split is up to the universities and nobody at either university has set forth a timeline for making the decision.