SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College is merging its north central and northwest regions to cut expenses, creating a single district that reaches from the Illinois border to Kosciusko County, about midway between South Bend and Fort Wayne.
Trustees approved the move Thursday and the change took effect immediately, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder said state funding hasn't kept up with the school's growth. Ivy Tech may consider consolidating other regions or limiting enrollment to reduce expenses, he said, but he doesn't know if employment will be reduced as a result. Employees were notified in an email Thursday.
"The college experienced record growth at a time when state funding was not able to keep up with the growth, thus creating a gap that has never been recovered. That gap was in excess of $40 million. We always want to keep tuition affordable so we never wanted to put the funding of such a gap on our students," Snyder said in a public statement issued Friday. That gap has now grown to $60 million, he said.
Ivy Tech's enrollment has grown by nearly 50 percent in five years to about 177,000 students, racing ahead of its state funding, Snyder told employees in his email.
He said the change should have no effect on students.
The merger reduces the number of Ivy Tech state regions to 13. The former North Central region included campuses in South Bend, Elkhart County and Warsaw. The Northwest region had campuses in Michigan City, Valparaiso, East Chicago and Gary.
North Central Regional Chancellor Thomas Coley will serve as chancellor for the larger region.