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Indiana University and Purdue University officially agree to dissolve IUPUI

 Purdue and Indiana University Presidents Mung Chiang and Pamela Whitten hold up the official agreement to dissolve IUPUI. (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)
Purdue and Indiana University Presidents Mung Chiang and Pamela Whitten hold up the official agreement to dissolve IUPUI. (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

The boards of Purdue University and Indiana University held joint meetings Wednesday to dissolve Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

The schools plan to leave two separate academic organizations in IUPUI’s place.

Last year, IU and Purdue announced plans to divide their mutual venture, which has been in place since 1969.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said that many would be asking why the split needed to happen at all.

“Why mess with a winning formula, right?” Hogsett said. “Well, like so much in our city right now, IUPUI has grown in ways that require a new approach. Not to mention more space. After more than a half century as a duo, these icons of our Hoosier state will now double the gift they provide to this city.”

Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers described the move as “taking the handcuffs off” the two universities.

“By separating and delineating the responsibilities, both universities can implement their own visions and pursue strategic aspirations,” he said.

Both schools said they plan to expand their student presence in Indianapolis. IU plans to double enrollment in “key tech-focused academic programs.”

Purdue President Mung Chiang said the separation will offer both schools an opportunity to grow.

“As IUPUI dissolves and two outstanding universities with complementary strength arise equally in our capital,” he said.

IU will largely control and maintain the existing IUPUI campus. Purdue plans to both lease space and construct new buildings on 28 acres near the university.

“We’ll be everywhere in Indianapolis,” said Chiang. He noted that the university would be well- positioned in the city – creating a “hard tech corridor” from Purdue’s West Lafayette campus and the state’s Lebanon LEAP district, which is in the process of being built.

IU President Pamela Whitten said the division will allow both schools to focus on their strengths.

“This agreement will be a stepping stone for both Indiana University and Purdue University toward even greater possibilities for innovation and collaboration and impact for our students in the city of Indianapolis,” she said.

Between the two schools, roughly $120 million appropriated by the Indiana General Assembly will be used to construct both expanded research and laboratory spaces and academic and student buildings.

The separation will be completed in July of 2024.

Copyright 2023 WBAA News. To see more, visit WBAA News.

Benjamin Thorp