Commission OKs Purdue Northwest

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The merger of two of Purdue University's regional campuses has cleared a final hurdle. Purdue Northwest is the result of the unification of Purdue Calumet in Hammond and Purdue North Central in Westville.

The Higher Learning Commission, an Illinois-based accreditation organization, has approved the school.

Purdue Northwest, which will become the state's fifth-largest public university, will remain as two campuses under one name. The school will begin operations in July. Thomas Keon, who has been chancellor of Purdue Calumet since 2011, was named chancellor of Purdue Northwest in November.

"Tom has been involved with this process from the start, and he understands not just the challenges of bringing together two campuses, but also the ultimate promise that Purdue Northwest holds for the region’s cultural and commercial enrichment," said Michael Berghoff chair of the Purdue Board of Trustees. "We are grateful to him and (Purdue North Central Chancellor) Jim Dworkin for bringing this bold concept forward and for bringing it to fruition."

Dworkin will remain as chancellor of the North Central campus until June 30. Purdue says he will then take a one-year sabbatical and return to the university's West Lafayette campus as a professor in the Krannert School of Management.

"This is a history-making day for all of us," said Dworkin. "So many of our faculty, staff and students worked very hard to make this day possible. I am confident that PNW will soon be considered a statewide leader in education, economic development and innovation."

The Purdue Board of Trustees approved the creation of Purdue Northwest in 2014. The university will have more than 15,000 students enrolled and will employ nearly 1,500 faculty and staff.

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