New feeling at IPFW as students move in ahead of realignment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - 900 students were expected on the IPFW campus Wednesday, moving in and preparing for the year ahead.

Freshman Tori Gillespie was moving to Fort Wayne from Gas City. "I think it's big and I think it's going to take getting used to, but they have a big mall here."

She knew she would pick IPFW when she visited. "I just loved the atmosphere. It kind of felt like home already and I wasn't even here yet.

It's was an exciting time for new and returning students. But change is on the horizon. Last December, I.U. and Purdue voted to realign IPFW. "The majority of the academic programs will be under the auspices of Purdue University Fort Wayne, or commonly known as Purdue Fort Wayne, while Indiana University Fort Wayne will start to oversee the health science programs," IPFW Spokesperson Kimberly Wagner said.

The change is now less than a year away and some students still have questions. "It's kind of confusing, I think, but a good thing," Gillespie said.

"They have the option to either kind of complete their degree under the IU heading if that's where it's located now. They'll have until June 20, 2021 to finish it under where it's located now. Other than that, all programs with the exception of health sciences will become Purdue University Fort Wayne degrees," Wagner said

The changes fall on top of the previous year that was filled with discussions and, at times, debates."The last academic year, the 16-17 year, was challenging. A lot of people have a lot opinions about the direction of the university and now were currently in the process of looking for a new chancellor," Wagner said.

New students like Gillepsie appear to be more excited than nervous about what's happening. "I don't think change is always bad I'm just always concerned with how things are going to change on campus."

Administrators and the staff hope students don't notice too much of a difference in their day to day life, as everyone takes on the new school year.

"I cannot believe it's already August and orientation is tomorrow and school starts on Monday," Stephany Alarcon, New Students Program Coordinator, said.

"We've got professors, professional staff, administrators really working very hard to make sure that this transition to the two separate institutions is very seamless for our students and its not something that's going to impact them in a major way," Wagner said.

The incoming freshman class at IPFW has 1,800 students. The realignment goes into effect July 1, 2018.

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