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Responding to the state’s needs with a bold vision for our Indianapolis campus


The late former Indianapolis mayor, U.S. senator, and Indiana University faculty member, Richard Lugar, famously championed the creation of a university in downtown Indianapolis. As he said in 1968, "The great cities of the world have many common features which stimulate greater vitality in the central city and a greater variety of experience for every citizen in surrounding regions. A key factor in each great city is the strength of a distinguished … university."
More than 50 years later, IUPUI — formed as a partnership between Indiana and Purdue universities — has grown into a thriving urban university campus that has a transformative impact on the city of Indianapolis and our state. As I have often said during my first year as president of IU, the Indianapolis campus has nearly limitless potential to make an even greater impact in the region and the state in the years ahead. 
Business and community leaders in central Indiana have expressed concerns about shortages of qualified talent, particularly in the sciences, technology, and health care, as well as a greater need for high-end research. And, as the state's largest public research universities, IU and Purdue have an obligation to evolve and change in response to the dramatically changing needs of the Hoosier state and the growing city of Indianapolis. 
Last week, the boards of trustees of both IU and Purdue approved a new framework for our future operation and cooperation in Indianapolis. This new vision will transform IUPUI into separate academic entities in which IU and Purdue will govern their own programs. 
Under this new arrangement, IU will assume responsibility for the School of Science, with the prospect of preparing greater numbers of students for science-based careers. In addition, IU will add new computer science programs to help address Indiana's IT workforce needs. Purdue will be taking over responsibility for the School of Engineering and Technology, where students currently earn Purdue degrees, as well as the School of Science's Department of Computer Science.
Indiana University, which already has responsibility for the overall campus, will retain its current schools and programs, including intercollegiate athletics. The campus will operate as IU Indianapolis.
Various operational details will be worked out through careful planning and consultation with all affected groups in the months ahead, with the realignment to be completed in time for the start of the 2024 academic year with no change during the 2022-23 academic year for our current IUPUI students and faculty.
The new framework also creates opportunities for even closer cooperation between IU and Purdue. We intend to collaborate in countless ways, including in the creation of a joint biosciences engineering institute, which will develop new life-enhancing therapies and technologies and create a much-needed pool of professionals whose unique research and training will create startups and attract new companies to Indiana. 
This truly is an historic moment for Indianapolis, for both Indiana and Purdue universities, and for our entire state. With this realignment, we are building on more than 50 years of accomplishment in Indianapolis to catapult us into a vision to prepare our students for the next 50 years — and beyond. This bold move will allow us to more effectively provide the excellent higher-education and research capabilities needed by the state at a time when economic and technological forces are driving enormous change.
We are excited to collectively make this transition to a world-class urban university in Indianapolis -- our great capital city deserves no less.


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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