Office of the Chancellor

Chancellor Elsenbaumer’s Message - My First 100 Days

Since arriving in Fort Wayne in November, and taking the helm as Chancellor, I have met hundreds of people including students, staff, faculty, and community members while attending dozens of events both on campus and in the community. As I prepared to take on this role, I was excited about the opportunities ahead, and I can wholeheartedly say that I’m even more excited now than before!

While the university is going through an unprecedented time of change, I can say with confidence that we have never been in a better position to launch ourselves into the future. The dedicated people across our campus, as well as colleagues on the main campuses of Indiana University and Purdue University, have worked diligently for several months to ensure the realignment will have as little an impact as possible on the university’s number one priority—our students.

People have been incredibly supportive throughout this very complicated process and have been willing to work to find solutions. Everyone I have had the privilege of working with as we transition to Purdue University Fort Wayne is committed to the success of our students and to mentoring them as they work toward the ultimate goal of earning their college degree. The continued collaboration between IU Fort Wayne and Purdue Fort Wayne is critical to the future success of both institutions and I believe we have laid a solid framework over the past several months.

There have been several successes announced during the past three months including the approval by the Purdue Board of Trustees to form three new schools that will focus on providing the educational programs needed by our region. Additionally, the partnership between our music technology program and Sweetwater will serve as a model for future collaborations and partnerships between the university and private industry.

These kinds of successes would not be possible without the support of our donors and friends, the business community, and our elected officials, all of whom are respected leaders who have committed to providing future support. But most important are the faculty and staff who have put the work into building these programs and solidifying these partnerships as we write the next chapter in the history of the university.

Over the next several months, more successes will be celebrated and plans for the future will be laid out. Some of the most critical steps we will take include rolling out the brand marketing campaign for the future Purdue Fort Wayne, expanding career services and internship opportunities for our students, and further engaging our students through on-campus housing and campus life to ensure we are serving the needs of all of our learners. Additionally, we will continue to promote our academic program offerings that are meeting the needs of the region while expanding upon recent ones such as music, actuarial science, data science and applied statistics, and engineering and tech programs, as well as highlighting the liberal arts to ensure our students are learning critical thinking and communication skills that will serve them well in their future.

As I mentioned in my welcome letter to campus my first day, the conversations I had with various stakeholders before arriving all revolved around two common themes: a passion for the students we serve and our commitment to serving the northeast Indiana region. These themes have continued to be the priorities for our stakeholders and goals I believe we have every opportunity to achieve.

My first 100 days have truly been an eye-opening experience, and each day has proven to me that I made the right decision in joining the Fort Wayne community and becoming a member of the Purdue Fort Wayne family. The generosity of this community is especially noteworthy — a fact I attribute to genuine Hoosier hospitality. The people here truly care about one another and are willing to give of their time, talent, and treasure to ensure a bright future for the region.

I realize there is much yet to be done; therein lies the excitement and the challenge. I have every confidence that we will continue to work together to provide unparalleled educational experiences, build enduring partnerships, and transform the lives of those we serve.

Ron Elsenbaumer

Chancellor