The Journal Gazette
Sunday, May 14, 2017 1:00 am

Governing of local IU campus undecided

No chancellor, official says; IUPUI to run business end

RON SHAWGO | For The Journal Gazette

Indiana University Fort Wayne will not have a chancellor when the school emerges from the dismantling of IPFW next year.

While the five other IU regional campuses are led by a chancellor, IUFW will have fewer students and faculty to administer, said John Applegate, executive vice president for academic affairs.

“It will not be a campus per se,” Applegate said. “The kind of (enrollment) numbers we're starting with – 1,100 or so – you just can't justify it.” The job and title of who ultimately leads the local campus has yet to be determined, he said.

Applegate, touching on a range of topics, updated The Journal Gazette editorial board last week on IU's role in what has come to be called IPFW realignment.

For more than 50 years, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has been jointly operated by its mother schools, with Purdue the managing partner. Late last year, trustees from both schools approved an agreement for IPFW's governance that establishes two institutions beginning July 1, 2018.

Under the realignment, IU will increase its focus on health sciences and build on the Indiana University Medical School on the IPFW campus.

Purdue will handle all other academic programming and will no longer be managing partner of the campus for both universities. That side will be named Purdue University Fort Wayne. A new chancellor is being sought. Current IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein said she plans to retire by the end of the year.

Asked what prompted the realignment, given IPFW had developed a identity similar to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Applegate pointed to differences in the campuses. At IUPUI, there are two Purdue schools – engineering technology and science – but the majority are IU, he said. IPFW is more split, with Purdue's management style described by Applegate as “hands off.”

In addition, IU was faced over the years with four studies of IPFW, “and these long bills of particulars about the horrors of being IPFW,” Applegate added. “And at the end of the day, I would say from IU's point of view, we're sort of inclined to take them at face value. It was a horrible disaster. Something had to be done.” That was the impression the campus was giving, he said.

Faculty and students took issue with aspects of a legislative study recommending the breakup of IPFW. The IPFW Faculty Senate voted in January 2016 for a nonbinding resolution opposing the split. As some IPFW programs were cut to address enrollment declines, the Faculty Senate in November approved a vote of no confidence in Carwein.

Under the realignment, the physical campus won't be different, at least at first, Applegate said. IU owns the medical building on the far north side of campus. In time, there might be other arrangements, but there are no plans to move, he added.

IU will reimburse Purdue for any general education courses IU students take. Courses will not be duplicated by the schools.

The registrar, bursar and other business offices will be through IUPUI, he said. Officials are concerned that undergraduates feel as much a part of campus as they have been. With general education courses, “all of the registration shifts, all of the money, all of that will happen in the background,” he said. “With automated systems you can do those kind of things pretty well.”

The Helmke Library, which will transition to Purdue, has been one of the easiest facilities to deal with, Applegate said.

People don't use paper books as much, especially at the graduate level. “So, getting access to electronic sources is pretty straightforward,” he said. A wide range of library sources are available to IU students online, he added.

As for foundations, the issues are straightforward, with the donor's intent the primary consideration, Applegate said. If a donation is for all students, the money probably will stay where it is. The IPFW Foundation is primarily Purdue-related, and Applegate said he sees it as Purdue's responsibility to figure out.

How the IPFW Alumni Association will be structured also is still being worked out.

Dialing in by phone, Dr. Michael Mirro, an IU trustee, said both schools will address increasing enrollment. Declining enrollment at IPFW has been one of the rallying cries for the realignment.

“I think the health science side for IU will definitely respond to the needs of the students and also the larger community that wants to enroll in health sciences and offer them other degrees,” said Mirro, a member of the working group that recommended realignment. “I think we'll see the reversal of the downward turn in enrollment by doing this.”

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