A new study from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is recommending significant changes for IPFW, including switching the university's governing body.
The IPFW Roles and Governance Study used focus groups, interviews with business leaders, and historical data to come up with five recommendations for change.
They include streamlining degree programs; strengthening ties to the business community; and transferring all governance of IPFW to Indiana University.
IPFW is currently run by Purdue, but can confer both IU and Purdue degrees.
The report says Indiana University's focus on satellite campuses and its governing structure are a better fit for the Fort Wayne university, while Purdue's focus remains on strengthening its main campus in West Lafayette.
The question of how IPFW should be governed and who should oversee it has come up on and off for decades.
Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership President John Sampson says IPFW is an increasingly vital part of the region’s ability to attract and retain talent, and it has to be adaptable.
“We have to act,” Sampson said. “We have a great report with solid recommendations, with supporting information. We, as community leaders, have to act in a way to cause something different to occur.”
Sampson stresses the report is not an indictment of IPFW’s service to the community, but a list of opportunities to make university governance more productive.
The report, which was compiled by Policy Analytics LLC, comes as the Partnership pursues its Big Goal initiative, which aims to increase the proportion of residents with a degree or advanced credentials to 60 percent by 2025. That number currently sits under 35 percent, according to the Partnership.