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Purdue and IU to separate and split IUPUI campus

Purdue president Mitch Daniels (left) and Indiana University president Pamela Whitten (right) at Friday's announcement in Indianapolis.
(Devan Ridgway, WFIU/WTIU News)
Purdue president Mitch Daniels (left) and Indiana University president Pamela Whitten (right) at Friday's announcement in Indianapolis.

ndiana University and Purdue University announced Friday a vision to split IUPUI into two separate institutions. The change is designed to retain graduates and improve the local and state workforce.

IUPUI has been a joint venture for 52 years, but the property is owned and operated by IU, with certain programs that grant Purdue degrees. However, the campus will be renamed IU Indianapolis by fall 2024. Purdue is yet to rename its Indianapolis campus.

Both universities will govern their own programs and collaborate to form a new bioscience engineering institute, which will combine Purdue’s biomedical engineering school with the IU School of Medicine.

“We view this as an opportunity, frankly, to send a statement to the whole country that Indiana is the place to come to get training, to start a company, or to hire people in the field of bio health engineering,” IU president Pamela Whitten said.

IU will retain certain administrative responsibilities for both institutions and athletics.

IU will also take over the School of Science at IUPUI, except for the computer science department, which will go to Purdue. IU plans to expand the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering with its own computer science program in Indianapolis.

Purdue will assume responsibility for engineering, computer science, and technology. The university plans to increase its student presence in Indianapolis by 1,000 students. Currently, about 27,000 student attend IUPUI, with about 24,000 receiving IU degrees.

“Many of us at Purdue for years have felt that we would like to have a bigger, more visible and, I hope, more impactful presence in Indianapolis,” Purdue president Mitch Daniels said. “The current structure did not permit us to do that.”

Purdue intends to create a new branch of its applied research center and a “study away” option for students in West Lafayette to pursue internships in Indianapolis.

Both university’s plan to form working groups in the coming months to study the transition and work out details, such as athletics and tuition cost.

Whitten did not say if IU plans to relocate its flagship campus from Bloomington in the future, but stressed the importance of both universities.

“Bloomington is a special university and will always play an important part of Indiana University as our flagship campus,” she said. “IU Indianapolis is going to be our urban campus, so there’s an important role in the state of Indiana for both to be outstanding universities."

IU’s board of trustees and Purdue’s trustee executive committee approved a memorandum of understanding for the project Friday.

“This is what a team looks like,” IU board of trustee’s chair Quinn Buckner said. “Understanding that the greater good for all of us is when we work together.”