Schools: Enrollment declines reflect students’ return to work
Loss of older students thought to have re-entered the work force contributed to enrollment declines at northeast Indiana’s two largest institutions of higher learning, but new programs helped increase enrollment at some of the area’s smaller colleges and universities. Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne began this fall semester with 10,412 undergraduate and graduate students, which was down 8 percent from a year earlier when there were 11,333. The university also looks at the credit hours for the classes in which those students were enrolled, and that figure fell 6.5 percent to 120,988.
Student tracks snapping turtles to gauge river
Kevin McLane, a graduate student in Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne's biology department, started work in May to study snapping turtles in the St. Joseph River near the campus. The turtles, which can live at least 30 to 40 years and grow to almost the size of sewer manhole covers, are a good indicator species for the health of any river because they are found all over the United States, said McLane, 24, an Indianapolis native. They also are vital to a river ecosystem because they eat fish and amphibians and scavenge on dead animal matter in the stream, he said. "But we don't know much about them," he said. He and the faculty member supervising his study, biology professor Bruce Kingsbury, hope the data that McLane collects offer insight into the snappers' daily life and how they might be impacted by the dam just downstream at Johnny Appleseed Park.
IT staff at IPFW teams up to bag burglary suspect
If the criminal charges against a 36-year-old Auburn man are true, he picked the wrong IT department to mess with last week. IPFW Police were called to the university’s Information and Technology Services about 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, where they found a dean, a professor and several members of the IT staff clustered around Curtis Lee Parker. A professor told police that he was surprised when he came back to his office and saw a light on. He tried to open the door, but found it blocked by a drawer of a file cabinet that was open. The person inside eventually closed the drawer, and the professor entered his office and asked the man inside what he was doing there. When the stranger in his office explained that he was looking for a bathroom, the professor was not entirely satisfied. His suspicion deepened abruptly when he saw a tin box in which he kept $50 or $60 worth of quarters sticking out of the stranger’s pocket.
IPFW named NCAA Men's Volleyball Tournament finalist
The NCAA announced Wednesday that IPFW and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum have been named a finalist to host a Men's Volleyball National Championship between 2015 and 2018. The other finalists are Brigham Young, UCLA, IPFW, Ohio State, Penn State, USC and Stanford. The three-person NCAA men's volleyball committee selected the finalists from the 21 bids submitted to the committee earlier this month. Among the factors used to determine the winning sites included the arena to play the postseason matches, a proposed budget and how the host site planned to enhance the student-athlete and fan experience at the event. All seven finalists for an upcoming men's volleyball NCAA Tournament have previously hosted the event. IPFW previously hosted the event in 1988, 1994 and 2000. At the time, Fort Wayne's attendance in the 1994 tournament set the NCAA record. The winning sites are scheduled to be announced Dec. 11.
More autonomy needed for IPFW
As Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne tries to map its future, it does not have to choose between the extremes of continued domination by the parent campuses in Bloomington and West Lafayette or full-fledged independence. It can seek the middle path of greater autonomy that would give it the elevated status now only accorded to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Being promoted to the status of “multisystem comprehensive university” would give IPFW more funding opportunities and greater leeway in such things as starting doctoral programs. A good case for greater autonomy was made before a series of legislative study committee meetings this summer. Though it ranks fifth among the state’s public institutions, IPFW is only 12th in the amount it receives from the state per full-time equivalent resident student. The student body is increasingly full-time. The university has done of good job of identifying regional needs address but doesn’t have the flexibility to meet them adequately. The recommendation to grant elevated status to IPFW didn’t win a recommendation of approval from the Regional Campus Study Committee. But it could still be introduced once the regular session of the General Assembly starts, and area legislators such as Rep. Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, and Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, plan to keep the spotlight on the issue.
Purdue, Indiana regional campuses hope for progress in search for autonomy
A recommendation to grant an elevated distinction to IPFW, the fifth-largest public, four-year higher educational institution in the state, failed to gain enough traction on the Regional Campus Study Committee to earn an official recommendation to state legislators. But it still could be the subject of a bill introduced into the General Assembly once January rolls around. IPFW “deserves to have more versatility and perhaps a special designation,” Banks said. “It’s my hope we can still do something.” Proponents say promoting IPFW to a “multisystem comprehensive university” would give it more leeway and funding opportunities, similar to the way Banks and others say IUPUI enjoys a greater level of autonomy. Its classification as a metropolitan university allows it to draw in a significant amount of external research dollars. “IPFW is really a unique institution,” said Steven Sarratore, associate vice chancellor for academic programs. “That raises some real and exciting opportunities for us but also some administrative challenges as we deal with the complexities of working (as a regional campus). ... It’s not that we are trying to become IUPUI.” Regional campuses until now haven’t been able to administer doctoral programs. Due to a change in state policy announced last week by Teresa Lubbers, higher education commissioner, that changed.
IPFW ranks high in graduation rates
The IPFW Department of Athletics and Recreation has posted one of the top Graduation Success Rate (GSR) scores among all schools in the Summit League and in the state of Indiana, and among the top third of all NCAA Division I institutions in terms of completing their degrees. IPFW's most recent GSR score, released Thursday by the NCAA, was an overall 85, which put them behind only Summit League newcomer Denver, while higher than in-state schools Indiana, Purdue, IUPUI, Ball State, and Indiana State. In the most recent report, five IPFW teams earned a perfect 100 score, including men's cross country/track & field, men's volleyball, women's golf, women's tennis, and women's volleyball, as 11-of-14 IPFW Athletic programs equaled or exceeded the national average for GSR.
What's going on
Halloween Howl 5K and one-mile costume walk/run; 6:15 p.m.; IPFW, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E.; nonstudent registration fees, $10 advance, $15 day of event; benefits Brown Ink Society; 481-6647 or email@example.com.
Gallup CEO to speak at IPFW
Story also ran in: Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly
A jobs war is brewing. Is Northeast Indiana ready? According to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, only 100 cities globally will win the coming war for jobs. Clifton is coming to Northeast Indiana on November 12 to discuss what it will take for our region to compete as well as other themes from his book, "The Coming Jobs War." Clifton's appearance is part of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne's (IPFW) 2013 Omnibus Lecture Series. He will speak Tuesday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall of the Rhinehart Music Center on the IPFW campus. The lecture is open to the public; however, free tickets are required to attend. The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Lutheran Health Network are partnering with IPFW to bring Clifton to the region because the book's themes align closely with regional efforts currently underway through the Vision 2020 initiative. Over 250 regional leaders are currently reading "The Coming Jobs War" and using it to guide discussions around Northeast Indiana's future.
Arts in Education
With a stylus in one hand, Ron Lewis, a graphic designer, animator and professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, uses his other to point at a screen displaying something he just drew in a computer program while addressing art students in the Huntington North High School auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Lewis appeared at the school on behalf of the LaFontaine Art Council's Arts in Education program.
IPFW seeking answers for rise in suicides
Story also ran in: Indiana's NewsCenter,
An increase in the number of student suicides in recent months has IPFW officials ramping up mental health services and reaching out to students with additional prevention and awareness programs. Since the start of fall classes in late August, IPFW has had three student deaths that have been reported as suicides, according to George McClellan, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management at IPFW. All three happened off campus and at least one was outside Allen County, university officials said. McClellan said in his seven years with the university, there has been an average of one student suicide each school year. “It’s a remarkably different situation than our typical year,” he said about the three deaths already reported during the 2013-14 school year. “It’s just very unusual.”
IN Higher Education
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Chancellor Vicky Carwein introduces a three-day Fall Bus Tour, the inaugural version of which saw 40 blue-shirted faculty and staff joining Chancellor Carwein on a three-day tour across Indiana which earned lots of media attention and appeared to generate considerable goodwill for IPFW amidst some substantative activity as well. The bus tour was intended to help stimulate thinking around new ideas, initiatives, projects, and partnerships.
Facing a budget shortfall resulting from a decline in enrollment and students taking fewer credit hours, IPFW cancels its popular four-year-old RiverFest event that featured kayak and pontoon boat rides, food booths, craft displays, and fireworks, and attracted 20,000 participants.