Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne has completed a survey concerning the name change that will happen when the campus is reorganized.
During the 10 days the online survey was in the field, more than 4,500 responses were submitted. About two-thirds came from current students and alumni, and they seemed to reject one of the two possibilities suggested to them. Chancellor Vicky Carwein told Purdue’s Trustees the name Purdue University Northeast didn’t find favor because the school’s acronym could be read as “puny.”
Instead, they coalesced around Purdue University Fort Wayne – incorporating location, the word “university” and the Purdue brand. The Chancellor says she hopes it brings stability and clarity to a campus that’s been under constant scrutiny during her tenure.
“My time here, which has been about four-and-a-half years, every single year this campus has been under study of who should govern it,” Carwein says.
Survey respondents were also allowed to suggest their own names and Carwein notes more than three dozen people suggested honoring a former mayor of Fort Wayne. But that wasn’t enough support to seriously consider changing the name to Harry Baals University.
Purdue Trustees also blessed the creation of 15 working groups which will help realign the way IPFW functions.
The committees will cover all aspects of the transition to a mostly Purdue-led infrastructure, which officially begins in the summer of 2018.
Carwein says the committees will include representation from IPFW faculty, including those who opposed the restructuring in the first place.
She says the campus needs more stability following years of questions about attendance, finances and governance, but says she’s hopeful the working groups will build on momentum from the most recent admissions season.
“The applications are up from this time last year. Admissions are up this time from last year,” Carwein says.
The working groups will have to settle everything from campus finances to alumni outreach to deciding whether to keep the sports teams’ current nickname, the Mastadons.