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IPFW Group Wants Voice In Restructuring

The group Not in Our Future holds a press conference. From left to right: Savannah Meyer (IPFW student), Jesse McIntire (community member), Audrey Leonard (IPFW student), Nicki Meier (IPFW alumna)

When IPFW officials announced in October that some degree programs would be eliminated or restructured, they said they would solicit feedback on the proposal before the decision was finalized.

But students say they weren’t given the opportunity to submit ideas, or instruction on how to do so.

Not In Our Future is a group of IPFW students, alumni, and community members protesting the changes, and it’s requesting to reopen the comment period and allow students to submit proposals.

Freshman IPFW student Otto King-Hoffman says the group has had trouble getting specifics from the university about its budget and why the cuts are happening. He thinks the university isn’t being transparent, which he says is a barrier to creating a proposal.

“What we have available to us as students or as community members is hidden under so much digging,” King-Hoffman said. “It’s there, but we have to really go looking for it.”

Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs Carl Drummond says they were looking for specific proposals that would also address the university’s need to cut costs.

“A smaller version would not be acceptable,” Drummond said. “An alternative version of equal scale or scope is something we could consider.”

In an interview on Nov. 2, Drummond said he expected proposals from the faculty Senate and possibly some deans of colleges. He didn’t say students were barred from submitting a proposal, but said he had only heard informal feedback from students.

“That’s not a plan, that’s an expression of concern,” he said.

During that interview, Drummond said he had not yet seen a formal proposal. But as of Nov. 15, an IPFW spokesman confirmed alternative proposals were submitted that Drummond will consider in the “next several weeks.”

University officials haven’t responded yet to a request for information about how many proposals would be considered or who created the submissions.

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