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General Assembly

IPFW bill meets end in Senate

Greater autonomy at stake

– A bill that would have given IPFW additional powers and a higher profile died in the Senate on Monday.

The measure cannot move forward in the rest of the legislative session.

Sen. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City – author of Senate Bill 265 – has worked for several years to give IPFW more autonomy than the other eight regional campuses in the state.

IPFW has an enrollment of around 13,000 students and geographically is the fifth largest campus in the state.

Purdue University provides administrative oversight of the regional IPFW campus, with students able to get degrees from both Indiana University and Purdue, depending on the program.

The legislation would have designated IPFW as a metropolitan campus.

By doing so, the campus would not have had to adhere to some regional campus rules, including a limitation on on-campus housing for students.

IPFW also would have been able to more easily seek new degree and doctoral programs and have additional representation on the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

The campus also has historically been underfunded compared with other regional campuses.

Banks said the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership had also announced last week that it has commissioned a study of regional campuses and independent public universities inside and outside the state.

The study, to be performed by Policy Analytics in Indianapolis, will be paid for with private donations earmarked for the purpose.

Its expected cost is between $40,000 and $50,000.

“Business and community leaders in our community advanced a study of their own we want to defer to,” Banks said.

“We maybe will come back in the future with a better concept, a better idea to give IPFW a leg up.”

Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, also had filed several amendments to delete portions of Banks’ bill.