The presidents of Purdue University and Indiana University say they are working toward a new agreement concerning the governance of IPFW. The current model will expire June 30 and a joint statement by Mitch Daniels and Michael McRobbie says "a small group of individuals" will be crafting a final proposal in the coming weeks. Any new agreement must be approved by trustees at Purdue and IU.
In January, a working group led by the state’s Legislative Services Agency made a slew of recommendations, including splitting the Allen County school into two distinct campuses. The team included Purdue Board of Trustees Chair Mike Berghoff, who also chaired the working group, IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein, Northeast Regional Partnership Chief Executive Officer John Sampson, IU Trustee Mike Mirro, IPFW Community Council member Bill Cass, IPFW Faculty Senate President Andy Downs, Purdue representative Julie Griffith and IU representative Mike Sample.
Carwein emphasized that the recommendations were just that: recommendations. She said "while there is significant potential and exciting opportunities outlined in the recommendations, many questions, issues, and technicalities will need to be addressed."
The recommendations focused heavily on better tailoring the offerings to the needs of the work force and economy of the area. One major recommendation called for IU to take over the medical school and bolster the health science and medical programs and to create what was described as an "inter-professional health sciences center" in the city.
Under the current structure, Purdue is tasked with managing and operating IPFW. Depending on their program, graduates receive degrees from either IU or Purdue.
Last year, the school announced an overall dip in enrollment to 12,719, compared to 13,214 in 2014.
The statement issued jointly by Daniels and McRobbie says:
By its June 30 expiration, the Management Agreement between Indiana University and Purdue University, establishing the governance of IPFW must be renegotiated and renewed. The two schools will commence their discussions taking into account the recent recommendations of the Legislative Services Agency Working Group and the endorsement of that framework by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, the IPFW Community Council, and various individuals and community leaders. The universities’ goal in crafting a renewed agreement will be to reverse the troubling decline in IPFW enrollments, improve the rate of student success, and strengthen the school’s contribution to the long-term prosperity of Northeast Indiana. We are pleased that these important regional community organizations and leaders understand and share that goal.
The 2016 Spring Commencement at IPFW is May 11 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.