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April 11, 2014

Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley part of consolidation

Terre Haute campus administration being merged with Evansville campus to cut costs

TERRE HAUTE — State Ivy Tech officials say they plan to combine the school’s Wabash Valley (Terre Haute) region with the Southwest (Evansville) region.

The newly formed region will be overseen by a single chancellor to be named at a later date. Wabash Valley and Southwest sites will have their own campus presidents, who will focus on outreach to the local community.

The state board of trustees met Thursday.

The changes take effect immediately, said Jeff Terp, Ivy Tech executive vice president and chief operating officer.

The search for a new chancellor and the two campus presidents will begin in the near future, and those positions could be filled within the next 30 to 45 days, he said.

Ann Valentine, Wabash Valley chancellor, announced last month that she will leave the college, effective May 15, to pursue other career opportunities in higher education. She has served as chancellor since 2011.

The Southwest chancellor also recently retired, and the interim chancellor there is Mary Ann Sellars.

The consolidations are occurring, Terp said, to cut administrative costs and redirect resources so that more academic advisers and full-time faculty can be hired. The goal is to improve student success and retention.

Reorganizations and merger of regions have been occurring across the state. Ivy Tech estimates that the statewide reorganization will save at least $4 million annually, Terp said.

As part of the restructuring, Ivy Tech is hiring campus presidents for about 20 educational sites throughout the state, many of the college’s degree-granting locations.  

The new title will replace the current title of vice chancellor/dean, which exists in many of the effected locations and means no additional new staff will be required.

Because Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley had a chancellor, it did not have a vice chancellor/dean, Terp said.

The campus presidents will report to the chancellors, and the focus of the local campus president will be outreach to the local community.

The changes will allow the campus president to focus on external relationships with K-12 schools, businesses and other community groups, Terp said. The chancellor will handle more of the administrative oversight.

In some regions that have had a vice chancellor/dean, the new role of campus president “is a huge empowerment,” Terp said.

While the college will consolidate administrative functions across the new combined regions statewide, the current 14 regional board of trustees will continue to operate as they have in the past.  

Those regional board members “will provide vital community outreach and operational expertise in assisting the regional chancellors,” according to Ivy Tech.

At Ivy Tech-Wabash Valley, students shouldn’t notice anything different in the short term, but over time, they should see more advisers and full-time faculty, Terp said.

The changes also should be seamless to the community, he said, although the campus president will be heavily involved in the community.

Valentine, as Wabash Valley chancellor, has been active in the Terre Haute community, he said.

In February, Ivy Tech announced that the Bloomington and Southwest regions would consolidate, but that has been tabled, officials say.

Bloomington is in the midst of a campaign for its expanded facility. Also, while Bloomington currently has an interim chancellor, there will be a search for a full-time chancellor, said Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech vice president for communications.

In a statement, Ivy Tech President Thomas J. Snyder said, “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.”

With the changes, “our outreach efforts will increase in each of these communities,” Snyder said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com

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