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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Indiana General Assembly zeroes in on new university budgets, including IPFW

Republic State Senator of the 16th District David Long. 
Republic State Senator of the 16th District David Long. 
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, March 16, 2017 09:01 pm
The Indiana General Assembly will soon determine the funding that will be granted to the universities involved in the split of IPFW, with the new state budget due by April 29. Purdue University and Indiana University are looking to offset the transitional costs of the change that puts IPFW in the hands of the powers that be in West Lafayette, with Indiana University taking over nursing, dental hygiene and lab techs as well as medical imaging.

The Indiana Senate has received the new two-year budget from the House, which includes $2.5 million of additional funding for Purdue. The original proposal from West Lafayette was a request of about $5 million.

Indiana University is set to receive around $2.85 million in funding for transitional purposes. This is in addition to funds granted to upgrade health sciences laboratory facilities on the IPFW campus.

"Each organization got less than they asked for, which is not unusual," said Senate President David Long. "The Senate will review and determine the final funding."

The version of the budget presented to the Senate from the House has an IPFW budget increasing to $41.9 million in fiscal year 2018, up $100,000 from 2017. The proposal will see a $2.3 million decrease in the Indiana General Assembly's budget allotted to the university in fiscal year 2019.

In the coming weeks, the General Assembly will receive a "revenue snapshot" that will forecast the available funds for the coming two-year budget. That number will allow legislators to lock in the final funding numbers.

"The (revenue shapshot) is important for a couple reasons," Long said. "It tells us if we will have additional money available or less, and we can then make adjustments (to the universities' allotted budgets) accordingly."

None of the proposals by Purdue and Indiana come as a surprise to the General Assembly. Following the formal decision in December to split up IPFW, both universities began to examine what additional expenditures were going to be needed during the transitional period.

"The transition costs a little money and that is understood," Long said. "A lot of these are one-time costs as Purdue looks to expand its curriculum as it strives more towards engineering and the STEM world and Indiana solidifies its health sciences."

Long was "in the trenches" so to speak in his home district as the decision was made to restructure IPFW, addressing many concerns and questions on a face-to-face basis. He believes the new-look university will thrive in northeast Indiana and beyond.

"A lot of people are taking a wait-and-see attitude right now," Long said. "There are certain things people want to see and there are things that will be retained."

Long mentioned the importance of Division I athletics as well as Purdue's interest in opening its first School of Music at IPFW.

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