Combined campuses to become Purdue University Northwest
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org July 18, 2014 10:11AM
Updated: August 20, 2014 6:05AM
The merger of Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central took another step forward Friday as the board of trustees approved a new name for the combined campuses: Purdue University Northwest.
The board chose the name from a list of three that a unification committee had selected. The other two options were Purdue North and Purdue Lakeshore.
“(The board) came up with strong support for Northwest,” Purdue North Central Chancellor James Dworkin said in a call with the media after the board’s meeting.
Although the unified university will be called Purdue Northwest, the individual campuses will still be referred to as the Calumet and North Central campuses.
The two universities announced in February plans to merge the campuses in an effort to help save money. Purdue Calumet Chancellor Thomas Keon said the two schools have saved about $550,000 so far from having people fill the same position at both campuses.
All these moves came when an employee at one of the campuses left his job, and the two campuses decided to have the employee in the same position at the other campus cover both campuses. Dworkin, who will retire in 2016, said the savings are going into faculty and student services.
The plan now is to continue this process through natural attrition, although Keon did not rule out eventual layoffs.
“Because this process will take two or three years before we’re truly complete, the expectation is we’ll be able to do the vast majority of this simply through attrition,” he said.
The next step in the unification process to get approval from the Higher Learning Commission, the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. The two universities are also working on creating one program that can will be used to manage student records, which will cut costs along with centralizing the work, Keon said. That will take place during the next year.
In the immediate future, students should see a “seamless” transition, Dworkin said. He expects that students will likely attend classes at one or the other campus and noted that certain programs are offered at only one site. However, there is the possibility that the new university will someday create new degree programs that could see more mixing of students.
“We’ll be a powerhouse in the northwest part of the state,” he said.