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Statement about IU Board of Trustees Meeting

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December 01, 2016 1:34 PM

IU trustees approve IPFW realignment

Purdue board expected to act later this month

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON -- The Indiana University Board of Trustees voted 7-2 Thursday to approve a realignment splitting the IPFW campus pending expected approval by Purdue University's board Dec. 16.

The new governance structure would take effect July 1, 2018, if three conditions are met -- each university has determined that "adequate budget appropriations and funding have been approved by the Indiana General Assembly," the boards have approved any ancillary agreements and each university has obtained reasonable assurances of accreditation.

Under the new structure, IU will increase its focus on the health and sciences and build on the Indiana University Medical School co-located on the IPFW campus. Purdue's nursing, radiography and dental education programs would be transferred to IU.

Purdue will handle all other academic programming.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels and IU President Michael McRobbie released a joint statement saying "the plan of realignment approved today by Indiana University’'s Board of Trustees...reaffirms both universities’' commitment to the Fort Wayne community, while differentiating the institutions'’ respective educational contributions. Indiana University’'s focus on the health sciences is based on substantial evidence of regional demand and apparent opportunities to build partnerships with local healthcare providers.

"Purdue University will conduct an immediate analysis of potential new programs in both STEM disciplines and the humanities that will attract new students and position the campus for a strong and successful future. The plan is designed to create a seamless experience for both IU and Purdue students on campus through course availability, the delivery of student services, and the use of campus facilities."

Board members Patrick Shoulders and Philip Eskew opposed the maneuver.

Shoulders said the move "makes no sense" and he doesn't believe it benefits students and faculty. He said the board should not discount the voice of the IPFW faculty, which has opposed the realignment.

Board member Melanie Walker supported the change but highlighted the board's actions are unrelated to internal program cuts Purdue just announced for IPFW.

The new agreement specifies the name and identification of the Fort Wayne Campus may be changed and replaced by Purdue with a name and clear designation that identifies Purdue as the governing entity of the Fort Wayne Campus. In doing so, Purdue intends to solicit input and seek naming suggestions from stakeholders in the IPFW, Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana communities.

And IU Vice President Jackie Simmons said both universities will work with the NCAA to ensure the new split campus can have Division I sports teams that allow students of both universities to participate.

nkelly@jg.net