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IN lawmakers could give IPFW more freedom

State lawmakers say the legislature could give Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne more autonomy and flexibility in funding and degree offerings. 

A legislative study committee was tasked this year with investigating the governance structure of the state’s regional university campuses.  And though its initial focus was broad, the committee has narrowed in on one location – IPFW, the state’s fifth largest college campus. 

Senator Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) chairs the committee and says it plans to decide Wednesday what it will recommend to the state legislature.  He says those recommendations could include giving IPFW a special designation that would provide it with more independence.

“They would have more authority at the IPFW campus for advanced degrees.  They might have an opportunity to directly go to the Commission on Higher Education for their funding.  They could potentially have a sub board of trustees.”

The Purdue Board of Trustees governs IPFW. Representative Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says it’s the board’s response that will likely determine what lawmakers choose to do.

“I think if they get the sense that Purdue understands the concern of the legislature and the people in the Fort Wayne area and is going to move to do some things to kind of address those demands, then I think you could see the legislature backing off.”

Pierce says a lot could also depend on whether IPFW can offer advanced degrees – masters and doctorates – using current resources. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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