Purdue trustees approve new name for combined local campuses

2014-07-18T18:00:00Z 2014-07-19T21:30:07Z Purdue trustees approve new name for combined local campusesTimes Staff nwitimes.com
July 18, 2014 6:00 pm  • 

Purdue University Northwest will be the name of the unified campuses of the university's Calumet and North Central locations.

The Purdue Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve the name change.

The name will be phased in over the next two years, as work continues to unify administrative oversight functions into one central office and provide opportunities for students to pursue degree programs at either campus location, according to a statement from the university.

For now, the name Purdue University Northwest will be used in activities connected with the continued unification plan. Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central will begin to market academic programs as one regional campus after gaining accreditation to do so.

The target date for completing unification is July 1, 2016. It will include a formal plan presented to trustees at a later meeting.

Once unification is complete, the two campus locations will be identified as the Purdue University Northwest-Calumet campus and the Purdue University Northwest-North Central campus, according to the university.

Trustees authorized the two chancellors to develop a new logo and to create new nomenclature to distinguish existing regional campus references.

James Dworkin, chancellor of Purdue North Central in Westville, and Thomas Keon, chancellor of Purdue Calumet in Hammond, praised the new joint campus name as a key step forward.

Combining the campuses reflects Purdue's continuing emphasis on administrative cost savings and promoting student affordability and accessibility, they said in a statement.

"Both campuses have established themselves as valued members of the Northwest Indiana community, and we're pleased that the trustees kept this goal in mind with the selection of Purdue University Northwest," Dworkin said.

Keon said the name selection underscores a sense of cohesiveness that will serve both campus locations going forward.

Keon said they have already realized a savings of $550,000 in the last three months due to consolidating administrative functions. Going forward, the two chancellors hope to save more money through attrition.

The next step is to combine academic functions. Keon said both universities use a similar student record system and will look to develop one system. The chancellors also have been meeting with members of the Higher Learning Commission, because they say the merger must be approved by that organization before it becomes official.

Keon said there are no plans to build more dormitories at the Calumet campus. He said the current dorms are 80 percent occupied. Dworkin said there currently is private housing across from the North Central campus, and there are plans to construct a student building complex. A small residence building could be located on the North Central campus, far into the future, Dworkin said.

As for this fall, Dworkin said anyone who goes to Purdue Calumet campus will continue there and anyone who attends the North Central Campus will continue there.

"We do not offer all of the same programs right now on both campuses," Keon said. "There may be some programs on the North Central campus such as early childhood education that are not offered at the Calumet campus. On the other hand, there are 20 degrees that are identical. The faculty will work through each of those degree programs to make sure they are the same. The idea is to give a student the opportunity to go to either campus."

Added Dworkin, "This consolidation makes us strong; we'll be a powerhouse in the northwest part of the state."

Times reporters Vanessa Renderman, Lauri Harvey Keagle and Carmen McCollum contributed to this report.

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