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Let IU manage IPFW, study recommends

August 15th, 2014

News Coverage:

Let IU manage IPFW, study recommends

Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:00 pm | Updated: 7:48 am, Fri Aug 15, 2014.

FORT WAYNE — A study of the role and governance of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne released today suggests the management of the campus be transferred to IU from Purdue.

The study was commissioned by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

IPFW has been chafing under Purdue’s administration in recent years, and many on campus and in the community have called for the university to have a greater degree of independence.

IU manages the campus it shares with Purdue in Indianapolis. It offers just a few Purdue programs, and is considered a “metro” rather than a regional campus, giving it a little more autonomy.

Although it has grown to be the fifth-largest university in the state by enrollment, IPFW is in the same classification management-wise as the other, smaller regional IU and Purdue campuses scattered around Indiana. Everything it wants, from degrees to dormitories, has to go through Purdue.

IPFW also lags most of the state’s institutions of higher education in terms of per-capita funding for students, consistently ranking about 13th out of 15 state college campuses.

IPFW is unique in that the students and faculty members there are fairly evenly split between the two major universities.

The study also suggests that:

• IPFW engage in a re-engineering process to better align programs with student and workforce needs;

• Emphasize the importance of degree completion;

• Strengthen the engagement between IPFW and the local business community and increasing the involvement of the university’s Community Advisory Council in determining its strategic direction; and

• Adjust Indiana’s performance funding metrics to recognize students at regional campuses have different degree paths than at the parent campuses.

During the study, six focus groups were conducted involving about 40 members of the local business community, including IPFW graduates, collaborators on university programs and employers of IPFW degree holders.

Additionally, independent interviews were conducted with area business leaders, representatives from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and members of northeast Indiana’s legislative delegation.

The study also looked at the current governance agreement for IPFW; history of campus funding and governance; academic performance data; and policy documents from the state, ICHE, Indiana University and Purdue University.

The full IPFW Roles and Governance Study can be found on the partnership’s website, neindiana.com.