Purdue isn’t happy about new IU program

When Indiana University decided it was time to offer a limited degree in engineering, Purdue went into rivalry mode to protect its franchise degree program, according to the Journal & Courier in Lafayette.

But on Aug. 13, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education voted unanimously to allow IU to start offering bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in intelligent systems engineering, housed in the Bloomington campus’ School of Informatics and Computing. IU changed the name to intelligent systems engineering—a “highly focused program,” the commission called it—in part to deal with complaints from Purdue about what a generic and broad engineering label might imply.

“We felt from the very beginning there would be serious reservations on the part of Purdue,” Teresa Lubbers, Indiana’s commissioner for higher education, said after the vote held at Purdue’s Calumet campus. “This is not a school of engineering we’re talking about. The commission is still committed to ‘mission differentiation’ at the universities. … But the commission feels IU made its case and this is good for the state of Indiana.”

In correspondence with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, it was clear Purdue officials weren’t happy about the idea.

Purdue officials proposed a collaboration that would put a Purdue presence on the Bloomington campus. But IU objected and argued for its own program.

In an April 15 proposal, IU officials said the university was the only one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities without an engineering program.

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