Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Are branch-campus degrees as good?

April 1, 2010

Purdue University has announced that it will begin offering bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology at four additional campuses—Anderson, Kokomo, Richmond and South Bend.

The degrees will be tailored to alternative energy, automotive and other needs of employers near the satellite locations, so the educations won’t be exactly apples-and-apples with the home campus in West Lafayette.

However, Purdue says the educations will be equivalent in terms of quality. The faculty are West Lafayette faculty and must hit the same research, scholarship and service standards for tenure.

The move nevertheless raises an interesting question that sometimes simmers in the background: Will recruiters consider an engineering technology degree from a satellite location as highly as the same degree from the main campus?

Whether based on fact, stigma, insecurity, misunderstanding or something else, the point even pops up with faculty at IUPUI, the downtown Indianapolis campus shared by Purdue and Indiana University. More than one faculty member at IUPUI has asked local news media to identify them with their IU credentials and leave out any reference to IUPUI.

How do you feel about branch-campus sheepskins? Is there a stigma? If so, is it deserved?

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