New chancellor named to lead IPFW at 'pivotal moment in its hist - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

New chancellor named to lead IPFW at 'pivotal moment in its history'.

Posted: Updated:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

A big step taken Thursday to try and get northeast Indiana's largest public university back on track.

An academic and business expert from the state of Texas has been named to shepherd IPFW forward, as leaders look to fix declining enrollments and navigate a big change in how the campus is governed.

The new chancellor is Dr. Ron Elsenbaumer from the University of Texas at Arlington.

He will be taking charge of IPFW, soon to be Purdue-Fort Wayne.

Dr. Elsenbaumer was hired for the job by Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

"Everybody has been on pins and needles, you know, wondering who the next chancellor would be," said retiring IPFW Chancellor Vicky Carwein.

Elsenbaumer will be visiting campus in early October to talk about taking the reins.

Carwein already believes he's the right choice.

"His background and his experience, his record of accomplishments, really make him the perfect fit," Carwein said.

Dr. Elsenbaumer, who has been at UT-Arlington for more than 25 years, beat out three other finalists to become the first chancellor of Purdue-Fort Wayne, as it transitions from shared governance between Purdue and I.U. next summer.

Former state lawmaker Tom Wyss served on the search committee.

He said business leaders in this area liked the fact Elsenbaumer-- a Purdue grad-- has a long history in academics and in industry.

"They were very interested in whoever we were going to have, that they understood the business community, and I think that's what Ron really brought to the table," Wyss said.

"It's cool to have somebody who graduated from Purdue, we do need some new leadership here, I think it'll be good for our school," said IPFW nursing student Lauren Brown.

There's lots of excitement about the new chancellor, but he'll face big challenges, trying to get off on a good note.

Professor Dr. Andy Downs says among the challenges for Elsenbaumer-- figuring out how to get more people to the school and keep them.

Graduation rates in several departments, he says, are going up. 

"And that's happened at the same time we've seen a decline in the number of people who are coming here, that's a bad combination because it means we're losing people at both ends," said Dr. Downs, who is speaker of I.U. faculty at IPFW.

"The community for awhile now has been talking about the importance they attach to IPFW and being able to help economic development in the region, and I think that'll be a really top priority for Dr. Elsenbaumer," said Dr. Jeff Malanson with Fort Wayne's Faculty Senate.

Budget issues and re-branding the school will also be on the agenda when Dr. Elsenbaumer takes charge November first. 

Powered by Frankly