Indiana and Purdue Universities Plan to Split IUPUI

The 52-year-old Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis will be split into two separate institutions.
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Published on August 15, 2022
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  • Indiana and Purdue universities plan to split IUPUI into two institutions.
  • The two schools will manage the new institutions according to each school’s specialties.
  • Indiana and Purdue both said the new, specialized institutions will boost workforce development.

Indiana and Purdue universities are splitting their joint venture in Indianapolis into two separate organizations, the schools announced Friday.

Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a research university formed as a collaboration between Indiana and Purdue universities more than 50 years ago, will become two separate institutions governed by their respective universities.

A release from Indiana University touted IUPUI’s overhaul as “a bold new vision for higher education in Indianapolis” that would boost the local workforce and economy.

The split won’t mean an end to collaboration between Indiana and Purdue, according to the release. The schools plan to create a joint biosciences engineering institute aiming to “develop new life-enhancing therapies and technologies while simultaneously creating a highly sought-after pool of professionals whose unique research and training will create startups and attract new companies to Indiana.”

Indiana University President Pam Whitten called the plan “an historic moment” for the state, city and universities.

"We are building on IUPUI's more than 50 years of accomplishment to propel us into becoming one of the preeminent urban research universities in this country,” Whitten said. “In addition to expanding our science and technology programs, we plan to grow across the board, create more opportunities for students, and become even more deeply integrated with the Indianapolis community through close relationships with local businesses, nonprofits, sports organizations, and more."

Outgoing Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said the overhaul would increase the number of STEM graduates from Purdue.

"This new vision will enable the number of Purdue's STEM graduates to grow and also provide more opportunities to our students and faculty both in Indianapolis and in West Lafayette,” Daniels said in the release. “What we are announcing today responds to calls we have heard from Indianapolis and across the state for a bigger and more visible Purdue in Indianapolis. Our state and its largest city require a world-class, high-technology research presence of the quality Purdue represents."

IUPUI’s current schools will be split based on Indiana and Purdue’s specialties, according to the release. Indiana will take over most IUPI’s science programs, although the school’s computer science program will go to Purdue. Indiana will also provide some administrative services to both of the new institutions. Purdue will take on IUPI’s engineering and technology programs.

Purdue also plans to open a branch of its Applied Research Institute near IUPUI’s current campus, and anticipates boosting its current enrollment in Indianapolis by more than 1,000 students, according to the release.

News of the two new institutions drew praise from public officials and business leaders. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said the overhaul “will create transformational change across Indiana's landscape and far beyond.”

Kevin Brinegar, the president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, said the move will boost the talent pipeline in the state.

"The decoupling better positions both universities for the future – allowing them to further promote and build on the programs each is known for. In turn, this will likely attract more students, afford them increased collaboration with their cohort and overall better prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” Brinegar said.