Faculty object to proposed split of Fort Wayne university

IPFW
(WISH file photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Faculty members at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne are voicing opposition to a group’s recommendation to split the school into separate universities.

The IPFW Faculty Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to send a resolution to the presidents and boards of trustees at Indiana University and Purdue University urging them to reject the proposal. The Journal Gazette reported. The recommendation was released last week by a working group tasked by the General Assembly with reviewing IPFW.

The working group of IU, Purdue and IPFW representatives voted 6-2 to support the proposal. IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein said at Tuesday’s meeting that she voted against it. The other working group member to oppose it was IPFW Faculty Senate president Andrew Downs.

IPFW is currently governed as part of the Purdue system under a management agreement between the boards of trustees for Purdue and IU. But tension has grown over the years, leading the General Assembly to seek the report.

Under the working group’s recommendation, IU would keep control of the School of Medicine and enhance its health science and medical education offerings, which would mean transferring the undergraduate nursing program to IU. Purdue would provide and control all other programs and course offerings under the proposal.

The group’s report says historical trends show no substantial change in degree-seeking enrollment, the number of master’s degrees granted, research funding and charitable giving. The Faculty Senate’s resolution says the report lacks “quantitative and qualitative findings” and that “insufficient investigation” of the proposal is reason to reject it.

Michael Berghoff, chairman of the Purdue University board of trustees and a working group member, has said the report is simply a template to implement change and that teams will be formed to work through details. He described IPFW as operating under two institutions doing the same thing with a “lack of clarity” of “who is in charge” and who reaps the benefits.

Carl N. Drummond, IPFW vice chancellor for academic affairs and enrollment management, said that barring any legislative action, the proposal will go to the boards of trustees for IU and Purdue for approval, rejection or changes.

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