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The Journal Gazette

December 02, 2016 1:03 AM

Displeased students feel left in dark

Ron Shawgo | The Journal Gazette

Some IPFW students were uncertain Thursday how their studies and future students might be affected by the school’s planned realignment.

Chancellor Vicky Carwein’s office referred questions to Indiana and Purdue universities but issued a brief statement.

“Today’s action brings us one step closer to a decision regarding the future governance of our campus after many months of uncertainty,” it said. “Assuming approval of the plan by the Purdue trustees two weeks from now, we will continue to work with Purdue and IU to implement the realigned structure with a view toward making it a success for our students, our campus community, our city and the northeast Indiana region.”

IU trustees Thursday approved splitting the IPFW campus in two. IU would enhance its health science and medical education offerings; Purdue would control all other programs. The Purdue trustees are expected to approve the agreement when they meet in two weeks.

Cassidy Smith, 21, a senior radiology major, said students talk about the controversial split but without in-depth details. Her department, run by IU, would not likely see changes, she said.

“It might hurt nursing, because Purdue is a well-known nursing school,” she said. Purdue’s nursing program would transfer to IU under the agreement. “Personally, I’m not a fan of change.”

Reed Hathaway, 18, a geology freshman, said there have been a lot of rumors and uncertainty on campus about the realignment agreement. But he is most concerned about the elimination of his major, which is unrelated to realignment.

School administrators announced in October geology is one of several programs to be suspended to save money.

“It just sucks,” Hathaway said. “It just does. There was no heads-up about it. We’re not sure what’s next.”

A 22-year-old senior business major, who asked not to be named, said she opposes the split. Business currently falls under IU, a well-known brand in business education. A transfer to Purdue would be less prestigious, she said, acknowledging she would not enroll at IPFW if she were just starting.

“In my personal opinion,” she said, “it’s going to hurt Fort Wayne.”

rshawgo@jg.net