WEST LAFAYETTE, FORT WAYNE - Purdue University has identified the next chancellor for IPFW. Ronald Elsenbaumer is a Purdue alumnus who currently serves as a special advisor to the president at the University of Texas at Arlington. He will succeed Vicki Carwein, who has led IPFW since 2012 and previously announced plans to retire by the end of the year.

Purdue tells Inside INdiana Business Carwein will continue serving as chancellor until Elsenbaumer takes the helm November 1. He was one of three finalists named by IPFW officials in July. The Fort Wayne campus is in the process of transitioning from shared governance by Purdue and Indiana University to separate institutions, a responsibility Elsenbaumer will lead into July 1 when the changes take effect.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels says "it’s a pleasure to welcome Ron back to Purdue. He brings an exceptional blend of academic and industry experience, and he’ll need it to lead the campus in new directions at a pivotal moment in its history. Our positive reaction to his impressive credentials was reinforced by the overwhelmingly favorable feedback we received from faculty, staff and students who met him during his trip to campus."

Elsenbaumer joined UTA in 1991 and has served as senior advisor for entrepreneurship and economic development since 2016. He previously served in roles at UTA including:

  • provost and vice president for academic affairs
  • vice president for research and federal relations
  • director of the nano-fabrication research and teaching facility
  • chair of both the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Materials Science and Engineering Program
  • professor of chemistry and polymer chemistry
  • professor of materials science and engineering

He career before academia included 14 years at AlliedSignal, which is now Honeywell. Elsenbaumer holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Purdue and a doctorate in chemistry from Stanford University in 1978. Elsenbaumer says "it's exciting to return to Purdue at what is a critical juncture at the Fort Wayne campus. With the challenge comes a tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to working closely with the campus and northeast Indiana communities to ensure we are educationally relevant to our students and economically impactful to the region."

Once the realignment is complete, Purdue University Fort Wayne will include 11 Centers of Excellence and more than 30 departments in five colleges in 40 buildings and structures.