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Ivy Tech plans to consolidate chancellor ranks

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Ivy Tech Community College announced more cost-cutting steps Tuesday, saying it will eliminate two more regional chancellors and consolidate four regions into two as part of its largest restructuring in more than 50 years.

The latest steps follow the consolidation of two northern Indiana regions last April as part of efforts by the 175,000-student statewide community college to close a $68 million deficit.

Ivy Tech will now operate with 11 regional chancellors, down from 14 before the consolidations began. The college anticipates the savings from the latest consolidations will allow it to achieve a previously announced $4 million budget reversion to state coffers and to add a limited number of advisers and full-time faculty, the college said.

Ivy Tech said its state board of trustees recently approved combining its east-central region — including the Anderson, Marion, Muncie and New Castle sites — with the Richmond region that also includes a Connersville site. The combined region will be led by current east-central Chancellor Andrew Bowne.

The Columbus region, including Franklin, will be combined with the southeast region, which includes Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison, and will be overseen by a single chancellor to be named later, Ivy Tech said.

Ivy Tech's Greencastle site also will now be managed as part of the central Indiana region rather than the Wabash Valley region.

The college earlier combined Its northwest and north-central regions and raised tuition by $5 per credit hour through the 2014-15 academic year.

The regional chancellors oversee Ivy Tech's 31 degree-granting locations and more than 75 teaching throughout the state within regional boundaries. While Ivy Tech is consolidating administrative functions, it said 14 regional boards of trustees will continue to operate as they have in the past. The regional boards help the regional chancellors with outreach and operating expertise.

Ivy Tech also will convert vice chancellor/dean positions at about 20 teaching sites to campus president positions that will focus on outreach to the areas that the sites serve. Many of Ivy Tech's teaching sites have degree programs focused on the employment needs of regional industries.

The latest changes are being driven in part by Gov. Mike Pence's education initiatives, including the creation of the Indiana Career Council and regional "works councils." The Career Council has been tasked with identifying available jobs, determining which skills are needed to fill them and analyzing where the state is spending job-training money.

"We believe that all of these changes are a part of our plan to align with the Indiana Career Council and Works Councils efforts," Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder said in a news release.

"Our new structure will allow us to best assess existing skill gaps between available jobs and Indiana's workforce and partner with business and industry to fill those gaps."

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