Working Group Suggests Splitting IPFW

FORT WAYNE -

A report set to be publicly released today details suggestions for IPFW that include splitting up the shared governance of the school. The Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne has obtained an advance copy of the recommendations and reports the school would essentially become two separate universities.

The publication reports the recommendations include a "clear designation" that the current campus is a branch of Purdue University. Indiana University would operate and manage the School of Medicine.

The Journal-Gazette adds the 53-page report, which was issued by a General Assembly-convened working group that has collaborated with the nonpartisan state Legislative Services Agency, "presents a clear, specific path toward improving the delivery of teaching and research services in northeast Indiana." It calls for a new structure and enhanced funding to focus on better aligning the strengths of the parent universities with industries influential in the region, such as health sciences and medicine at IU and engineering and advanced manufacturing at Purdue.

Exploring changes to the operations and affiliations of the university has been discussed for years. Last January, Purdue President Mitch Daniels requesting the Indiana Commission for Higher Education change IPFW's designation from "Regional Campus" to "Metropolitan University." Months later, a bill was signed into law that re-designated IPFW as a "multi-system metropolitan university." The move was lauded by the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana as a way to open up the school to more advanced graduate degrees, on-campus housing and expanded research programs.

Any changes to IPFW's current structure must be approved by the schools and the state.

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