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PNW Degree Change

State Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, plans to file legislation during the 2019 General Assembly restricting state universities from prominently displaying a satellite campus location on its diplomas, such as the proposed new diploma for Purdue University Northwest.

The board of trustees of Purdue University announced its decision to keep Purdue University as the overarching header on students' diplomas, regardless of the satellite campus they attend.

The board's decision overrides Purdue University Northwest Chancellor Thomas Keon's recent announcement to have Purdue University Northwest be displayed prominently in large lettering on the school's diploma starting in May. 

Several Purdue University Northwest students rallied to oppose the change announced by Keon on Sept. 28, gathering in the center of the Hammond campus en masse to protest.

State Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, announced Oct. 5 that he intended to file legislation come January with the General Assembly that restricts state university diplomas from prominently displaying that a student graduated from a satellite campus.

“I genuinely appreciate the candid conversations held over the past two weeks about the PNW diploma among students, faculty, staff, alumni, administration and the community,” Keon said in a news release Friday. “The many points of view shared and the level of engagement on this issue demonstrate the pride we all have in the education offered here at Purdue Northwest.”

The board of trustees also made other changes to the diplomas, ratifying the use of the campus name rather than the city in the smaller print of the diploma. This decision is effective for both Purdue University Northwest and Purdue University Fort Wayne.

However, that practice has been in place since 2016 for Purdue University Northwest, according to university officials. 

In addition, the campus chancellor's signature will appear on the diplomas verses the signature of Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, which originally was featured on every diploma regardless of the satellite campus.

“Now that we have opened the conversation, I believe we can continue to build on our shared passion for excellence at PNW,” Keon wrote. “Together we will further enhance our unique identity as a university that is strong, vibrant, innovative, diverse and increasingly a competitive choice for exceptional, nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate education.”

Check back at nwi.com for updates to this story.

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