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IPFW Vice Chancellor: “I think the future is bright”

(Photo Supplied/IPFW)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne recently announced the elimination of several departments and degree programs as part of a major restructuring.

Come January, the Geology, Philosophy and Women’s Studies programs will be gone, while the French and German degree programs will be suspended.

RELATED: IPFW eliminating several programs amid restructuring

Carl Drummond, IPFW Vice Chancellor tells WOWO News, the main reason for the cuts is the 2008-2009 recession.

“The primary driver is a sustained loss in enrollment that’s occurred in the post recessionary period. At the time of the recession, our enrollment ramped up and we’ve subsequently had declining enrollment that’s coupled with increased graduation rates,” Drummond said. “So what we have is a smaller standing body of students enrolled at IPFW and so we have less revenue, and you know costs for everything continue to go up, so we’ve had to find some costs savings and some efficiency within the academic organization.”

He says it’s not cost effective to offer programs that have few students enrolled, hence why some programs are being suspended and/or eliminated.

“What we are trying to do is identify those programs that have small numbers of majors that have produced a very small number of graduates over time, and reallocate resources towards those programs that are high demand and high impact,” he said.

However, those programs will not go away immediately, they will be phased out over the next period of semesters.

“What we are doing is a phased approach, the technical term is suspended admissions. So we are not letting new students enroll in those programs and then we are working through a process of teaching out a curriculum so that current students can complete there degree in a timely matter,” Drummond said.

IPFW may be currently going through a rough patch, with several students and faculty members not happy about the cuts, but Drummond is hopeful about the school’s future.

“I think the future is bright. This is a difficult moment in our history, but we have lots of great programs…I think we are looking towards making investments in new academic programs in areas that are of regional economic significance so I am optimism about the long-term prospects for the university.”

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