To our valued IPFW alumni,
As one of the 57,000 graduates of IPFW, we appreciate your role in the success this institution has had over these 52 years. We are Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana's top provider of quality graduates, and more than half of you still live and/or work here in this region. Over the years, a vast majority of universities have needed to address financial and enrollment challenges. Due to several factors, including an unemployment rate that is lower than at any other time in this generation and a myriad of online offerings, amongst others, all institutions of higher education are in constant competition to "attract, recruit, and retain" students. In addition, IPFW is the only university in this region that relies heavily on state funding, and is thus dependent upon approval from legislators for appropriations. Credit hour enrollment decreased 30% since 2010, reflecting a nationwide trend in declining enrollment. All of these factors impact the need for strict fiscal oversight and tough decisions so that we can provide an outstanding educational opportunity for more than 9,000 degree-seeking students enrolled at IPFW. Our current fiscal reality is that expenses are more than our income, so by making changes now, we help put ourselves on solid footing for the future. This is the reality of higher education in the current economy. IPFW must adapt to it. A two-year process called the University Strategic Alignment Process (USAP) presented recommendations in spring 2015 and 2016. Chancellor Carwein and her cabinet worked throughout the summer to bring forward 41 action suggestions that were released to the IPFW community for feedback. A subsequent assessment was done by Academic Affairs that identified programswith small numbers of students and graduates. Resources will be reallocated to more high-demand programs. For more information on the specifics of this plan, click here.
The university has prepared a statement, which is available here, about these decisions and what happens next. However, it's important to note the following facts:
During these difficult times of fiscal responsibility and decision making, there has been some strong emotion which has led to some protests, letters to the editor, and comments on social media. Because you are one of our alumni, I wanted you to have the facts regarding this decision and invite you to call if you need further clarification or to discuss concerns.