Legislative Commisson Plans Talks for IPFW to go Independent
A State Senator supports the idea
An Indiana General Assembly summer study commission on education will begin to look at whether or not IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne) could or should be converted to its own independent public university.
State Senator Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) supports the idea, saying such a move would benefit both the school and the region. Kruse says although Fort Wayne is the state's second largest city, it doesn't have an identifying public university upon which to build a brand and IPFW has the potential to be that "Fort Wayne" University.
Enrollment numbers show IPFW has become the 5th largest public college campus in the state behind IU-Bloomington, The Purdue West Lafayette campus, IUPUI, and Ball State.
IUPUI in Indianapolis tried to become independent from Purdue and I-U in the 1980s without success, but Kruse says there is a difference. He cites IUPUI's strong ties to IU and the branding of the School of Medicine, but says nothing like that really exists for IPFW. Kruse says precedence was set for such a move when the 1985 legislature turned the Indiana State University extension in Evansville into the University of Southern Indiana with great success.
The IPFW campus is currently governed by the Purdue Board of Trustees in West Lafayette. Kruse says the West Lafayette campus isn't open to a doctoral program or research at the Fort Wayne campus. Several in the community feel that is hindering future growth at the school.
The legislative summer study commission will meet September 4th at 1pm in the House chambers at the Statehouse to begin the discussion. Kruse says public comment will be taken at that time.