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Alumnus, Former Professor to Confront LSA Proposal with Lecture

Michael Nusbaumer, Courtesy Photo resized

Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

Michael Nusbaumer, Courtesy Photo resized
Written by: Mikaela ConleyMarch 16, 2016

Former IPFW student and professor Michael Nusbaumer will return to IPFW to participate in the Brown Bag Lecture Series, presented by the Sociology Student Association. He will present “IPFW: The Noble Experiment That Failed” at 12 p.m. March 30 in the Liberal Arts building, room 159. Free pizza will be offered, according to the flyer.

Nusbaumer lived and breathed IPFW for almost 50 years until he retired two years ago.

“IPFW has very much been a part of me,” he said.

Nusbaumer first attended IPFW in 1967. As a student he was the student body vice president and the president of the Organization of Regional Campuses in the area. He received a bachelor’s degree from the university in secondary education with a focus in Earth science in 1971. He then returned as a sociology professor in 1977, also serving as speaker of the IU faculty for eight years. Nusbaumer also received the 2014 Chancellor’s Medal.

During the lecture Nusbaumer will explore the organizational and administrative history of the university.

“When IPFW was conceptualized, there had been no other place literally in the world where two major universities shared a campus,” he said, explaining how it was a major experiment when it was opened.

However, the Legislative Services Agency’s proposal to essentially turn IPFW over to a Purdue campus with minimal IU involvement that was presented to the campus in January concludes that the experiment has failed, he said.

Nusbaumer described the proposal as “very poorly done” and “an uninformed, shallow piece of research.”

Nusbaumer believes that there is a hidden agenda behind the proposal because the plan was so unexpected.

He said, whoever’s hidden plan this is, “Must be some powerful people. … Somebody is pushing this down IPFW’s throat.”

Nusbaumer will also explain the location of the campus in relation to other campuses in the state. And offer his speculations as to why it has been recommended that IU only continue its nursing school at IPFW and where the plan came from.

In an article published by the Journal Gazette about the proposal, Nusbaumer wrote, “I am one of the 21,000 Indiana University at Fort Wayne alumni, most of whom have remained in the state, predominantly in the northeast region. As I read the IPFW Study Working Group report, I feel nothing short of abandonment.”

“As part of the higher education funding bill passed in spring 2015, the Indiana General Assembly instructed the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) to convene a working group to examine the role and governance of IPFW,” according to an IPFW press release.

The working group has not released any further information regarding the future of the campus or proposal.

A survey was opened to current students to let them voice their opinions.


Lowell Beineke, Jack W. Schrey professor of mathematics who has been a professor since the creation of IPFW, said, “Am I in favor of the change?  Given what I know about it at this time, no, I don’t.  However, once a final decision has been made, I will do my part in helping it to succeed, whether it be essentially building on what we have, what so many have invested so much into, or something quite different.”

“I am getting a Purdue degree so I personally feel it is a good idea … I can understand the want to have second degree options,” said Chelsea Wiechart, senior Communications major.

“I’m indifferent. The university hasn’t told us anything … so in a way it’s their fault for not keeping us informed,” said Seth Carpenter- Nichols, Senior History major.