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IPFW study recommends shift to Indiana University control

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Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne would better serve its region with a shift in governance to Indiana University and a change in the state's funding formula for university campuses, a study released Thursday recommended.

The study by Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership study also recommends IPFW streamline its programs to meet the needs of students and the regional workforce, emphasize the importance of completing degrees, and strengthen the school's engagement with the local business community.

The partnership presented the study Thursday to the State Budget Committee when it met on the IPFW campus.

"Indiana University has eight regional campuses throughout the state and the institutional infrastructure in place to administer them," the report said.

It said the state's funding formula should change because it rewards funding based on completing bachelor's degrees within four years.

"It must recognize that regional campuses like IPFW have a different student body make-up than their parent campuses," the report said.

State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville and chairman of the budget committee, said lawmakers need to pay more attention to regional campuses.

"IPFW and other regional campuses are beginning, in some ways, to play a more important role in higher education," Kenley said.

Purdue University currently governs the Fort Wayne campus. Purdue issued a statement saying it favors whatever arrangement is best for IPFW students and northeastern Indiana.

"If the local community, the people of IPFW and the state's public leadership conclude that a shift to administration by IU is advisable, we will cooperate fully in a swift transition," Purdue said.

IPFW issued a statement saying it "is committed to working with both Purdue and Indiana Universities in any capacity that allows us to realize our mission and achieve our strategic objectives."

IU spokesman Mark Land said it wasn't proper to comment on the study's recommendations since IPFW is managed by Purdue.

The full 65-page study can be found at here.

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