August 10, 2017

Purdue gains commission approval for Indiana’s newest public institution

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) on Thursday (Aug. 10) voted unanimously to grant necessary approvals that will allow Purdue University to launch and oversee the state’s newest public institution, currently being called NewU.

In accordance with legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, ICHE approved NewU as a postsecondary state educational institution-affiliated entity controlled by Purdue. The move authorizes NewU, which will be headquartered in Indiana, to offer educational programs. Commission approval is a major step forward in a three-step process for NewU to begin formal operations. Additional approvals are needed from the U.S. Department of Education and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

“This is a crucial step toward enabling us to meet our obligation – particularly to Hoosier families – of increasing access to education and improving lives,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “We appreciate the commission’s resounding endorsement. The ICHE has challenged all of Indiana higher ed to work on the task of bringing college credentials to those hundreds of thousands of working adults who missed their earlier opportunity to obtain them. Through New U, Purdue accepts and welcomes this important challenge.”

ICHE is a 14-member public body empowered under Indiana law with oversight of the state’s public colleges and universities, which includes review of plans to establish new “branches, campuses, extension centers, colleges or schools.” Purdue made its case for the creation of NewU and answered questions from commission members during the commission’s June 8 public meeting.

“The action taken by our Commission today is the culmination of a thoughtful, deliberative process to meet the Legislature’s charge, and it reflects our strong support for new, innovative approaches that ensure Indiana is well-positioned to meet the needs of more students,” said Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education.

In April, Purdue announced the creation of the new online public university to advance its land-grant mission, expanding access to higher education for working adults and others for whom traditional campus study is not accessible or attainable. By acquiring Kaplan University, through NewU, Purdue seeks to reach those millions of adults who started but did not complete a degree and those with no college credit at all. NewU will rely only on tuition and fundraising to cover operating expenses, and no state appropriations will be sought.

NewU will be overseen by a six-member Board of Trustees that is itself appointed by the Purdue Board of Trustees and includes five of Purdue’s current trustees. The NewU board will oversee and approve all academic, budget, marketing and operational functions of the new university.

NewU’s board already has approved offering a dramatic tuition discount for Indiana resident students and free tuition for Purdue employees. The new Indiana resident rate, also approved by KU’s board in June, took effect at the beginning of KU’s current academic term and the Purdue employee tuition policy will take effect when NewU becomes operational.

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