Current Negotiations Over IPFW Governance Remain Unclear

Written by: Franci Mara & Samantha Whiting

IPFW officials had been kept in the dark since the January announcement that the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University would renegotiate IPFW’s governance by a June 30 deadline, until April 14, when the presidents announced that they will be crafting a new agreement.

The LSA recommendations and report were delivered to Presidents McRobbie and Daniels in January, which had suggested the formation of small oversight groups in order to research each part of the recommendations.

“Since that time they have been in communication, and I am not involved in those discussions at a system level,” Vicki Carwein, IPFW’s chancellor, said.

A possible roadblock in the negotiation process could be the future of the nursing program, according to separate statements from Carwein and Andy Downs, the presiding officer of the IPFW senate.

“IU was very open to say we don’t want to start any of these other discussions until the nursing issue is resolved because for IU that was such a big ticket item for them,” Carwein said.

According to Downs, there have been multiple, unofficial proposals concerning the nursing program. The proposals include the splitting of the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs between IU and Purdue, giving both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs to IU, or the College of Health and Human Services would become the IU campus and everything else would stay the same.

An oversight group was going to be formed shortly after the recommendations were presented in January, but has yet to be formed. Each of the three universities was supposed to name a representative to lead the oversight groups. IPFW named Vice Chancellor Carl Drummond, Purdue named Provost Debasish Dutta and IU has yet to name their representative.

“Since [the oversight group] doesn’t exist then none of the individual groups that would look into specifics of the proposal have been created,” Downs said.

Carwein said that she wants the Fort Wayne community to know that there are some good things in the recommendations, such as a medical research center, but there are also some problematic aspects of the recommendations. According to Carwein, the oversight groups need to be formed in order to make sense of the recommendations.

“The details of how you make that happen in a way that doesn’t harm existing students in terms of how they’re being educated, and the quality of the educational experience they have and how to actually promote that and make it better, is what they need to be talking about,” Carwein said.

Neither President McRobbie nor President Daniels returned phone calls concerning the negotiations between Purdue University and IU.

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