Faculty Resolution in Support of IPFW Faculty
The Purdue Board of Trustees decided on December 16, 2016 to split the Indiana University- Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) campus and cut programs and departments. The Board of Trustees breached the public trust by taking unilateral action without input from IPFW faculty. This decision violates accepted principles of shared governance, according to which faculty are granted a substantial advisory role in connection with all major decisions affecting the university community, especially with regard to curricular matters. For these reasons, the Indiana
University School of Liberal Arts strongly disapproves of this decision.
We seek through this statement to offer our full support to the faculty at IPFW regarding the current situation. The announcement of the closing of academic programs and departments, the notice of no-confidence in IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein, and the unilateral action on the part of the Board of Trustees underscore how troubling the situation is at IPFW. It is vital that the faculty have a voice in these decisions, as they are uniquely positioned to be aware of the academic needs of the university community.
The Indiana University School of Liberal Arts urges the Purdue Board of Trustees to reconsider the action and respect the IPFW faculty’s right to exercise their advisory rights and responsibilities regarding any program or department restructuring.
IPFW was the only public comprehensive university for the entire region of northeast Indiana. Since the action could lead to the elimination of half of the University’s humanities programs, it clearly violates IPFW’s stated mission—that of providing regional access to an affordable Purdue or Indiana University education. The humanities are essential to a comprehensive
education. Their value lies in part in their ability to teach students how and why to be responsible citizens, how to read texts closely and critically and to identity and challenge false assumptions with rational argument and empirical data, to understand cultural and religious pluralism and the struggles of those who have been oppressed, and to be able to step away from one’s own beliefs and practices and deconstruct them.
Our School is firmly committed to supporting IPFW’s stated mission and its faculty’s advisory rights and responsibilities. In this, we are better able to foster excellence in higher education across the State of Indiana.