Purdue University officials have announced they are moving forward with a plan to unify the administration of the university’s two northwest Indiana campuses. The two campuses, just 35 miles apart, will be preserved, but the plan includes the consolidation of the oversight of both administrative and academic functions into one central office.
Officials say the merger would lead eventually to one chancellor, and likely to one university name, but Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon says nothing will be enacted right away.
Purdue North Central Chancellor James Dworkin says he and Keon are keeping both campus‘ students in mind.
“We have two very excellent campuses and we feel that with doing some of these administrative restructuring, we can save some money on that side and have additional resources to be able to spend on new faculty positions and perhaps in some student areas like student access and student success,” said Dworkin.
Dworkin said the future of academics at either Purdue Calumet or Purdue North Central will be “challenging but interesting,” but there are already moves underway in that direction. He said he and Keon talked with Purdue President Mitch Daniels and members of the Board of Trustees about their proposal.
“We have thought for a long time that there were some of these efficiencies that would be available if we were to think hard about it, and I think this will roll out over a period of time; some things might occur earlier, and other things might take a little longer to get done,” said Dworkin.
Both Chancellors said there are a lot of details to be worked out, like the impact on athletics, and they‘re seeking a lot of input in trying to meld the campuses together. Keon said some physical changes with a central administration, like IT, can be easily done, but don‘t expect functions like admissions to change.
“We still will have to have an admissions person on each campus, but whether we centralize admissions is yet to be determined,” Keon said.
The Purdue Board of Trustees must still approve the administration merger proposal, after they receive it before the end of this year.