Purdue University in Indianapolis: Launching Purdue’s first comprehensive urban campus and forming America’s Hard Tech Corridor
INDIANAPOLIS – On June 14, 2023, Purdue University trustees and Indiana University trustees simultaneously approved the agreements that will effectively dissolve IUPUI on June 30, 2024, completing a process that started in August 2022. Now, two outstanding universities with complementary strengths will arise in Indianapolis, making this a momentous day for our state.
At the same time, Purdue’s Board of Trustees further established Purdue University in Indianapolis, with multiple locations throughout the city and degrees from Purdue University West Lafayette. In addition to continuing the PU part of IUPUI, Purdue will bring many more programs from possibly all colleges and departments in West Lafayette to Indianapolis.
Purdue will have the physical resources, state appropriations and freedom to independently operate its urban campus. This will allow Purdue to expand the academic and research excellence that the university is known for to Indiana’s capital city, while investing in and partnering with Indianapolis to significantly grow the tech-driven economy in central Indiana.
“Today’s announcement launches transformative growth for our state’s land-grant university, and Boilermakers are excited to serve the people, businesses and communities of Indianapolis. We thank all of our partners: those at Indiana University; the government, civic and business leaders who have been with us throughout this process; and the many colleagues, alumni and neighbors who provided insightful input. We thank our Indiana General Assembly for their support,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “An urban setting offers unique programs in academics, research and partnership for students and faculty, and Indianapolis has its many special strengths. Starting today, new opportunities for Purdue University in Indianapolis are limitless.”
Purdue’s first comprehensive urban campus
The new Purdue University in Indianapolis will assume responsibility for the existing engineering, computer science and technology programs at IUPUI and confer Purdue West Lafayette degrees. Purdue will also be able to introduce and grow enrollments in other colleges and departments in Indianapolis, e.g., Daniels School of Business, Pharmacy, Health and Human Sciences, Science, Agriculture and more.
Purdue anticipates substantially increasing today’s Indianapolis enrollment with plans for a 28-acre campus footprint stretching beyond the existing IUPUI engineering and technology buildings, which Purdue students will continue to use. Purdue received $60 million from the Indiana General Assembly to fund the first academic and student success building on the newly available land, and working groups are targeting additional building projects, including a possible new residence hall. Purdue University in Indianapolis students and faculty will continue to have access to all campus and academic facilities for the foreseeable future. Purdue is also exploring additional locations throughout the city of Indianapolis for expansion of academic and research programs.
To contribute to the civic life of the city and community, and recognizing the historical significance of the area surrounding Indiana Avenue, Purdue has pledged support to the Indiana Avenue Certified Strategic Plan, which will inform the development of the surrounding neighborhoods, including the Purdue University in Indianapolis campus. Purdue University is also exploring additional physical facilities throughout Indianapolis.
Since Purdue University in Indianapolis is not a regional university, there is no chancellor. Professor David Umulis will serve as the chief academic officer for Purdue University in Indianapolis in his current role as senior vice provost, reporting to Provost Patrick Wolfe of Purdue University. Dan Hasler, who formerly served as secretary of commerce for the state of Indiana, will serve as chief operating officer for Purdue University in Indianapolis, reporting to Chiang.
America’s Hard Tech Corridor
The new Purdue University in Indianapolis will also serve as one bookend for a 65-mile-long Hard Tech Corridor in Indiana, stretching from downtown Indianapolis, through the LEAP Innovation District in Lebanon with new sites from companies such as Eli Lilly and Company, all the way to Discovery Park District in West Lafayette.
Purdue will invest in making the Hard Tech Corridor the most consequential engine of economic growth and brain gain in the Midwest as it continues to generate workforce, jobs and innovation together with partners.
For business and communities in Indianapolis and central Indiana
The dramatically growing needs of Indiana have been calling for the correspondingly bold move toward the creation of Purdue University in Indianapolis to provide the world-class higher education and research capabilities the local economy needs. Central Indiana business and community leaders have expressed concern about shortages of talent well trained in the engineering, sciences, technological and health care disciplines, and a related gap in local capacity for high-end research. Purdue University has achieved excellence at scale among the very top universities in the country, ranking among the top four U.S. universities in agriculture, graduate engineering and utility patents and, across all leading American universities, as No. 1 in undergraduate STEM enrollment. Now, with a plan to ambitiously increase student enrollment at the Indianapolis campus, Purdue University in Indianapolis will create new knowledge and establish a strong pipeline of Boilermaker talent to the capital city.
After the IUPUI transition is completed, Purdue University will have continued collaboration with Indiana University, where each university’s strengths will enhance funding opportunities for joint research initiatives in Indianapolis, including creation of a joint institute for engineering in medicine between the Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the Indiana University School of Medicine. This new institute will develop new life-enhancing therapies and technologies while simultaneously creating a highly sought-after pool of professionals whose unique research and training will create startups and attract new companies to the Indianapolis and central Indiana region.
For Purdue University students and faculty in Indianapolis and in West Lafayette
The new Purdue University in Indianapolis dramatically increases the opportunities for faculty, staff and students in Indianapolis that can only come by joining and fully integrating with a top 10 public university and one of the world’s most innovative institutions.
Taking advantage of the excellence at scale established over the past 150-plus years, there are new opportunities for Purdue University in Indianapolis students and staff to grow their professional networks; access the full breadth of courses; leverage world-class facilities in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, including the Birck Nanotechnology Center; utilize the technology and commercialization pipeline facilitated by the Purdue Research Foundation; participate in statewide cooperative extension to see discoveries making an impact throughout the state; and access resources for career advancement.
Faculty, staff and students will also be able to take full advantage of new programs developed in Indianapolis integrated with departments pursuing advancements in cybersecurity, autonomy, advanced manufacturing, microelectronics, AI, business analytics, biomedical engineering, sports technology, hospitality and tourism management, pharmaceutical discovery and manufacturing, to list a few. Purdue’s strengths lie in its mission and its people – and the combined physical locations create the environment to solve the problems of tomorrow as one university with one mission leading the charge together.
Putting the Old Gold and Black and Indianapolis together, Purdue University in Indianapolis will create unique opportunities for current West Lafayette students and faculty, allowing them to pursue research, internship or entrepreneurial opportunities with Indianapolis companies or opt to take entire semesters on the new urban campus. There are also compelling possibilities for faculty in West Lafayette, including tighter faculty-industry collaborations, improved access to the Indianapolis entrepreneurial ecosystem, better opportunities to attract faculty who prefer an urban lifestyle, and advantages for dual-career hires.
More information can be found at the Purdue University in Indianapolis website, including a fact sheet and an evolving FAQ. Suggestions for Purdue University in Indianapolis can be emailed to Purdueindy@purdue.edu.
What they’re saying
Eric Holcomb, governor of Indiana: “IUPUI’s realignment will create a transformational change across Indiana’s landscape and far beyond. As Purdue and Indiana University – two of our state’s globally competitive universities – continue to focus on their individual strengths, they will also now create an epicenter for research and a training ground for future-focused innovative fields to ensure students are ready for the modern-day economy. This bold move will ensure Indiana is a leader in developing the workforce of tomorrow and attracting more companies to Indiana that are on the brink of cutting-edge discovery. Congratulations to presidents Chiang and Whitten for keeping Indiana’s trajectory straight up.”
Joe Hogsett, mayor of Indianapolis: “Like so much in our city right now, IUPUI has grown in ways that require a new approach – not to mention: more space. After more than a half-century as a duo, these educational icons of the Hoosier state will now double the gift they provide to this city as separate institutions. They will now serve as two magnets for talent, helping to build an Indianapolis population with more education and earning power.”
Rod Bray, president pro tempore of the Indiana Senate: “Indiana is home to some of the finest higher education institutions not just in the Midwest but in the nation. The action taken today demonstrates a commitment to collaboration that will result in an even brighter future for our students and state.”
Todd Huston, speaker of Indiana House of Representatives: “Over 50 years ago, state and city leaders called for the creation of a world-class research university in Indianapolis because they knew it was vital to the economic growth of the region. That’s still true today, and I’m fully supportive of these changes which will fuel the next wave of growth for the campus, Indianapolis, central Indiana and our state. I look forward to supporting this important initiative in the next legislative session. It’s my hope that our thriving business and corporate community also steps up their support of this critical initiative that could be a major force behind Indiana’s talent pipeline for years to come.”
Chris Lowery, commissioner, Indiana Commission for Higher Education: “Today, Indiana University and Purdue University initiated strategic and collaborative steps to reimagine the potential for higher education and research in Indianapolis, our state’s capital. I am confident the vision being contemplated will provide transformative opportunities for our citizens, employers and state.”
Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Chamber of Commerce president and CEO: “The decoupling better positions both universities for the future – allowing them to further promote and build on the outstanding programs each is known for. In turn, this will likely attract more students, afford them increased collaboration with their cohort and overall better prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow. This is also exciting news for the Hoosier business community because of the positive impact it will have on the state’s talent pipeline.”
David A. Ricks, chair and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company: “As a proud graduate of both universities, I’m excited to see this natural transformation of their Indianapolis presence. The world needs more graduates who are ready for STEM careers, and this evolution offers the promise to unlock the full potential of our state university institutions and their graduates. This change will also increase the opportunities for our great state institutions and their faculty to collaborate with Indy-based global science and technology companies to solve some of the world’s most pressing scientific, technological and health challenges.”
Brad Chambers, Indiana secretary of commerce: “IUPUI has provided a critical educational role to central Indiana for its more than 50 years of existence. By separating and delineating the responsibilities of a previously conjoined institution, both universities can implement their own visions and establish new and exciting aspirations, unique to their own strengths, to meet the needs of an increasingly interconnected global economy. I am thrilled at the potential this bold new approach holds for central Indiana and the state of Indiana.”
Melina Kennedy, CEO, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP): “This is a great moment for Indiana and continues to foster the spirit of collaboration that leaders here exhibit when it comes to doing great things. Our members and initiatives, along with the 16Tech Innovation District, will work closely with these two world-class universities to make this a success. This effort has clear benefits to our overall economy as we continue to find synergies in our work and further build the ecosystem of these research universities.”
Ting Gootee, president and CEO, TechPoint: “Indiana has a great opportunity to become a national leader in digital innovation and economic competitiveness by putting technology to work across our strongest industries. Purdue University and Indiana University are key to providing the highly trained talent in these vital economic regions. Every company has a tech need, no matter what sector it’s in, be it health care or advanced manufacturing. Such continued investment in talent and in cutting-edge research and development will define Indiana for future generations to come.”
Jennifer Rumsey, president and CEO, Cummins: “Today’s announcement complements Cummins’ efforts to train youth around the world with employable, technical skills and connect them to good-paying jobs. We applaud the leaders of both universities for their continued strategic thinking and approach and how it will bolster our collective effort to increase the number of STEM graduates. We will continue to work with universities across the nation to help equip students and train current workers with the skills for the jobs of today and for the future, just as these two great universities are seeking to do with today’s announcement.”
Scott Dorsey, co-founder and managing partner, High Alpha: “In this innovation economy, companies and communities need to think more creatively about the development of technology talent. I am optimistic that the IUPUI realignment plan will better position Indiana University and Purdue University to both accelerate investment into technology-related disciplines and unlock the tremendous potential that an urban campus provides to students and the business community.”
Ersal Ozdemir, chairman and founder of Keystone Group and Indy Eleven: “As a proud Boilermaker, I’m excited to see Purdue University, one of the most consequential universities in the world, solidify a permanent home in our state’s capital with a stand-alone Indianapolis campus. This makes a statement to students, faculty and staff that Purdue is undoubtedly invested in creating development, attracting talent and providing invaluable collaboration opportunities and experiences while generating a positive impact for the university, city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.”
Anthony Najem, CEO, Meyer Najem Construction: “The transformation of IUPUI into two campuses is nothing but outstanding for the community and all the constituents it serves in the higher education arena. My experience with IUPUI gave me the confidence to go to Purdue for my building construction Bachelor of Science degree and was a great opportunity for me to experience on-campus housing and being involved in a fraternity. In today’s environment, more students are wanting to work while they go to school. Having a Purdue campus in Indianapolis will be a great option for students to work while getting a degree in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines at a world-class university.”
Writer/Media contact: Derek Schultz, firstname.lastname@example.org