April 10, 2015

Purdue, Vincennes propose partnership to boost S. Indiana engineering education

Will help support economic development needs for region’s employers

INDIANAPOLIS - A partnership program in which the final two years of a Purdue University bachelor’s degree in engineering may be offered on Vincennes University campuses was announced Friday (April 10) by Purdue and Vincennes. The program is a partnership among Vincennes, Purdue’s College of Engineering at West Lafayette and the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

Designed to attract both traditional full-time students and working professionals from the southwest Indiana area, the program would involve a hybrid mix of distance education, traditional classroom learning, internships and co-ops and would expose students to the strong and varied industries in southwest Indiana.

“Growing the number of engineering graduates is one of our most important and strategic objectives at Purdue,” President Mitch Daniels said. “Ensuring that the workforce in every corner of Indiana is meeting the needs of the region is a cornerstone of our land-grant mission.”

Vincennes University President Dick Helton said, “This partnership continues the long and successful relationship we have had with Purdue University. It will provide tremendous benefits for southwest and south central Indiana and its thriving industrial base.  Great opportunities await the graduates of these programs. ”

Leah Jamieson, dean of the Purdue College of Engineering, noted that Purdue’s highly ranked and respected engineering college, as a part of the Purdue Moves initiative, has a strategic objective to increase the number of enrolled students in West Lafayette by 1,500 and add an additional 107 faculty members.

“As we grow our engineering programs on the West Lafayette campus, it’s also important to extend our educational reach across the state. The proposed partnership builds on the articulation agreements that enable Vincennes students to continue their education in engineering at Purdue, but adds the flexibility to do so in southwest Indiana,” Jamieson said. “From a practical standpoint, educating more engineers through this program will be a benefit to southern Indiana and the employers based there.”

“We are thrilled to see this partnership between two highly reputable schools in our state, Purdue University and Vincennes University. With the high demand for engineering and skilled maintenance positions, this is a great option to help build our future workforce as well as offer another option for our team members to further their education,” said Norm Bafunno, president of Toyota Indiana. “I believe this new program and partnership will add so much to our community, making Indiana a great place to live and work.” 

Under the proposal, faculty hired by Vincennes and approved by Purdue would teach courses at the Vincennes, Gibson County and Jasper campuses, and the universities would pay proportional shares of faculty salaries. Vincennes and Purdue’s College of Agriculture have partnered since 1957.

The proposal must be endorsed by the engineering faculty and the trustees of both universities and would be subject to approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

Sources: Duane Chattin, VU Director of Public Information, 812-888-4164, dchattin@vinu.edu

Brian Zink, Purdue Senior Director of News and Information, 765-404-9290, bzink@purdue.edu

Julie Rosa, Purdue AVP Strategic Communications, 765-494-2036, jrosa@purdue.edu

Karen E. Johnston, Toyota External Affairs, 812-387-2122, Karen.johnston@tema.toyota.com

Related Web sites:

Purdue University Home Page:  http://www.purdue.edu

Vincennes University Home Page:  http://www.vinu.edu