Bloomington Ivy Tech campus to maintain stand-alone status

The Herald-Times

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 10:04 am | Updated: 10:35 am, Fri Apr 11, 2014.

By Jon Blau 812-331-4266 | jblau@heraldt.com

Ivy Tech’s board of trustees has reversed its decision to join the Bloomington and Evansville campuses as part of a consolidation plan, leaving Bloomington as a stand-alone campus with its own administrative staff.

In early February, the community college’s state board decided to combine the administrative personnel of the two campuses separated by 111 miles along the I-69 corridor. But during its meetings this week, the board decided to instead merge Evansville with Terre Haute campus.

This will change the community college’s plans leadership at the Bloomington campus. The new structure for Ivy Tech campuses called for reducing administration and hiring a chancellor to oversee multiple campuses, with college presidents on each campus. Evansville and Bloomington would have shared a chancellor.

Instead, Bloomington will maintain its own chancellor to replace John Whikehart, who left Ivy Tech in January to become the deputy mayor for the city of Bloomington. Evansville will now share a chancellor with the Terre Haute, or Wabash Valley, campus.

A press release from Ivy Tech said the board has “tabled any consolidation involving (the Bloomington) region” and noted that the campus is in the midst of a fundraising campaign for the expansion of its academic building, the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. The college received $20 million from the Indiana state legislature for the $24 million project.

Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder had touted the Bloomington-Evansville merger because those two cities bookend Naval Support Activity Crane and the community college could drive economic development in southwest Indiana.

“Ivy Tech will continue its focus on being responsive to the needs and workforce development efforts in Evansville and Terre Haute and all of the surrounding communities,” Snyder said in today’s news release. “These changes will allow us to best assess existing skill gaps between available jobs and Indiana’s workforce in these markets and partner with business and industry to fill those gaps. Our outreach efforts will increase in each of these communities with our new structure.”

 

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