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Purdue Fort Wayne’s status as ‘metropolitan university’ affirmed

June 17th, 2019

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

The name change of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne to Purdue University Fort Wayne has been formally ratified by state higher education officials.

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education also reaffirmed the university's status as a Metropolitan University at its June meeting, which took place June 13 in Fort Wayne at the Steel Dynamics Keith E. Busse Mastodon Alumni Center.

The designation distinguishes the university as a comprehensive institution that serves the Fort Wayne metropolitan area rather than a regional campus in the state of Indiana, according to a university news release.

That means, the release states, that commitment exists to align the university's educational outcomes "with the economic and social priorities of the region," including economic development and "emergent" industries, and to use its resources to increase the area's quality of life.

Among the quality-of-life goals are artistic and humanistic programs affirming inclusivity and a culture that emphasizes excellence to close "equity gaps" for residents.

"This designation (as a metropolitan university) helps galvanize our continued expansion of research, scholarship, and creative expression," said Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, chancellor of Purdue University Fort Wayne.  

Teresa Lubbers, Indiana's commissioner for higher education, said two specific distinctions were made in the language relating to Purdue Fort Wayne at the meeting. 

One, she said, made clear that the university, under appropriate circumstances, could grant doctorates involving intensive research if done in conjunction with another institution that offers them, such as Purdue University's main campus.

But such degrees are limited to doctorates supporting a profession, such as psychology, she said.

The other change made clear that instead of limiting on-campus housing to 10 percent of enrollees as on a regional campus, Purdue Fort Wayne can offer "sufficient" housing for student demand.

The new name took effect July 1, 2018, after having been approved by the university's board of trustees in April 2017.

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Verbatim: PFW's status as metropolitan university affirmed from The Journal Gazette