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The Journal Gazette

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Friday, October 13, 2017 1:00 am

Bridge to a bright future

IU Fort Wayne leaders eager to move forward with Purdue counterparts

Dr. Fen-Lei Chang and Ann Obergfell

Dr. Fen-Lei Chang is chairman of the IU Fort Wayne Executive Committee and associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne. Ann Obergfell is associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and operations for IU Fort Wayne, and dean of health and human services for IPFW.

As the academic leaders of the new Indiana University Fort Wayne, we want to extend a warm welcome to Ronald Elsenbaumer as he assumes the duties of the next IPFW chancellor on Nov. 1, and of the first Purdue University Fort Wayne chancellor eight months later.

Between now and the official transition in 2018, we look forward to working with Chancellor Elsenbaumer on ongoing campus realignment efforts. More importantly, though, we are very eager to forge the kind of close, productive and collaborative relationship that will assure both IU's and Purdue's success as together we serve Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana.

IU Fort Wayne will be focused on health science education grounded in existing solid programs in dental education, medical imaging, social work, nursing and medicine on the IPFW campus. With these programs as a foundation, IU Fort Wayne will develop into a regional powerhouse of health science education and research.

We have high expectations for a great future that will meet the needs of the region. We will deliver state-of-the-art education to our health science students, and we will support regional health care providers and organizations to provide the best care possible for the community while advancing research and economic development opportunities.

As we focus on the current needs of our diverse student populations and prepare for the future, we will develop new programs and initiatives. To do so, we will partner with Purdue Fort Wayne, regional health education institutions and health-related industries to educate professional health care workers, advance regional health care quality, and promote regional community and economic development.

Recruiting and outreach to prospective students is under way, and during last month's Indiana's College Go Week we saw a significant increase in applications to IU Fort Wayne for fall 2018. We will soon be announcing admission-based scholarships that will be awarded on the basis of high school GPA and SAT/ACT test scores. Information about admissions and academic programs can be found on the newly launched IUFW.edu website.

Both IU and Purdue programs have long-standing ties to the region, and these relationships will continue and thrive. We will build upon the strong foundation that exists in Fort Wayne and the transformative potential of our joint efforts for the greater community and northeast Indiana.

In welcoming Chancellor Elsenbaumer, we would also like to thank Chancellor Vicky Carwein for her leadership and hard work. We appreciate the passion and commitment of our students, faculty and staff on the IPFW campus, and the friendship and dedication of all our many Fort Wayne friends.