The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

February 3, 2014

Response might head off Ivy Tech site closures

INDIANAPOLIS — Ivy Tech Community College officials could hold off on closing any of its class sites around the state after projecting last summer that up to 20 might have to be shut down.

Numerous local leaders have been working to find ways to cover costs, such as rent on leased locations, so that Ivy Tech could keep open some of the smaller of its more than 70 sites across the state.

Those steps could end up preventing any immediate closures, Jeff Terp, Ivy Tech’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, told The Indianapolis Star.

In many of the communities, Terp said, “they can’t afford to have us leave, so they’re trying to come up with some opportunities.”

Ivy Tech’s closure warning came after a school review found 19 sites were losing money.

The Anderson Ivy Tech site, apparently, was never earmarked for closing. In fact, the state of Indiana last year released $20 million for the construction of a new campus near Interstate 69. Local leaders are working to raise an additional $4 million for the new campus.

Some of the Ivy Tech sites that were in danger of closing offer only a few classes, not full degrees, at locations such as shopping plazas, high schools and community centers. Others mostly offer night classes, dual credit or specific training options.

— The Associated Press

Ivy Tech spends about $4 million a year on those leases, Terp said.

“We are looking at every single lease cost everywhere to see if we could re-evaluate,” Terp said.

State Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said it’s too early to tell whether the state might be able to increase Ivy Tech’s funding during next year’s budget negotiations.

“The local communities have to show some willingness to participate in this funding if they want to attract Ivy Tech,” Kenley said.

At a minimum, Ivy Tech wants every student to have a location within a 30-minute drive, Terp said.

But if rent expenses can’t come down, Terp said, the college might eventually explore other options when leases expire — including possibly closing a site by folding it in with a nearby location.

— The Associated Press

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