COST OF CHANGE: Indiana University Fort Wayne creating its identity
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third day of a three-day series of stories about the transition of IPFW to separate Purdue University and Indiana University programs, effective Sunday.
It’s a fresh start.
That’s the feeling while standing outside Student Central, the newly created “one-stop shop” for students of what will be Indiana University Fort Wayne after its split Sunday from Purdue Fort Wayne on the IPFW campus they’ve shared since 1964 at 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E.
“The goal for the student is to feel and experience the least amount of change possible,” said Ann Obergfell, a professor and dean at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne College of Health and Human Services who last year was named associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and operations at IU Fort Wayne.
The glass-walled office in Room 110 of Neff Hall has pops of crimson in the furniture and flags that list the health programs remaining under IU. A TV monitor scrolls through the school’s program, which are the:
• School of Medicine
• School of Nursing
• School of Dentistry
• School of Social Work
• Department of Medical Imaging and Radiologic Sciences
Student Central is home to IU Fort Wayne’s admissions, registrar, financial aid and bursar offices with the glass walls facing out to a student lounge that will be getting new furniture.
“We wanted it open so people could identify this as the go-to place,” said David D. Chappell, who was announced last year as director of Student Central and enrollment management. A touch-screen computer has been ordered to walk students through the financial aid process.
The school expects an enrollment of 450 new undergraduates, plus 40 pursuing masters degrees in social work and about 80 others in the medical school.
IU Fort Wayne students may pay slightly more because the university has gone away from IPFW’s per-credit-hour tuition structure to banded tuition. Under the new system, students pay the same amount if they take 12-18 hours, so it’s in the student’s interest to take more classes, Obergfell said.
Using the tuition calculator on www.iufw.edu, an in-state nursing student taking 18 hours this fall will pay $6,111.15, while the cost for 18 hours for all other programs will be $4,732.25. Nursing students have more costs associated with labs, while dental students have various fees because they buy their instruments, Obergell said.
Life at IU
IU students will have the same access to campus facilities, housing, and activities as Purdue University Fort Wayne students. What IU students won’t be able to take part in is the athletics program, which will be for Purdue students.
IU students, like their Purdue Fort Wayne counterparts, will be Mastodons with a dual identity with their main campuses. IU Fort Wayne students will be Mastodons first, Hoosiers second, just as Purdue Fort Wayne students will be Boilermakers second.
IU students will go through the IU registration system, even for Purdue classes such as English, math and physics that they’ll need.
While its incoming students will be graduating under the new university in three years, others in medical and social work will be completing their education sooner. And still others who started under the IPFW umbrella will continue their education as they have. IPFW students have always graduated with an IU or Purdue degree.
Creating its space
West Lafayette-based Purdue has long been in charge of managing the campus, and it is overseeing the transition of signs at a cost of $650,000.
IU will lease space in Neff Hall and the Liberal Arts building along with using its current medical school building on campus, which it owns.
The university works closely with Parkview Health, Lutheran Health Network, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and independent hospitals in northeast Indiana to make sure it is providing graduates who meet their needs, said Dr. Fen-Lei Chang, associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne and chairman of the IU Fort Wayne Executive Committee.
“We’d like to do more master’s and certificates,” Chang said. “…We have no limit to what we do.”
In addition to creating Student Central, some of the Indiana University Fort Wayne spaces are currently under renovation. The university plans an open house in the fall for alumni to visit and see the improvements.
The dental hygiene clinic in Neff, where advanced students must spend 20 hours a week working on staff, students and members of the public, will be alive with activity in September. Most of the equipment is a year old, replacing the 25-year-old equipment that had been there. The newest piece of equipment that students will use in the fall is a digital radiography system that replaces X-ray film with digital images that patients will receive on a flash drive to take to their dentist.
With the federal government requiring digital medical records, dental records will be next, said Wilhemina Leeuw, dental assisting interim program director.
Come fall, students will also have a new dental technology area to learn to make teeth impressions and create items such as retainers and bridges, a study area with advisers’ offices, a computer teaching lab with 32 stations, and state-of-the-art equipment including a new radiographic fluoroscope used to study the body’s systems.
Getting out the word
IU has been getting the word out about the Fort Wayne school through billboards, displays such as at April’s Tapestry: A Day for You and plans to walk in next month’s Three Rivers Festival parade with the IU Alumni Association.
The university is one of IU’s seven satellite campuses with its main campus in Bloomington. The centralized marketing team has helped to build the www.iufw.edu website and market the campus, said Ryan P. Wooley, IU Fort Wayne spokesman.