Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne released its University Strategic Alignment Process last week, which recommends consolidation of several academic departments to save costs.
The report was compiled by 24 faculty and university staff members, and suggests the university consider expansion, consolidation or termination of 13 academic departments. Most of the departments are part of the College of Arts and Sciences department and 11 are operated by Indiana University.
University spokesman John Kaufeld says the selection of programs was done with the idea of how to best improve revenue opportunities for IPFW.
“They wanted to look for high profile programs, look at things that we as IPFW could increase our revenue because a lot of our money comes from tuition, you know,” Kaufeld said. “We want to get students in the door just like every higher education institute.”
Kaufeld says the content of the USAP report aims to address needs identified by residents of Northeast Indiana.
“There are discussions about new programs that we want to add, because the region has told us, ‘We want an actuarial program. We want leadership programs,’" he said. “The report gets into some recommendations about different directions that we could be looking to match ourselves with the region.”
While cutting back and outright eliminating certain programs can create backlash, Kaufeld says nothing is set in stone.
“These are recommendations. This is not a done deal. Over the summer, the chancellor and the vice chancellors will be going over the report in detail because the USAP team did not include any executives,” he said.
The chancellors will look over the report and make their own changes, and then a final draft plan will be presented to the IPFW Senate this fall.