Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

January 14, 2014

Ivy Tech makes regional organizational changes

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Ivy Tech Community College’s State Board of Trustees recently announced regional structure changes, the most substantial organizational changes that the college has experienced in its 50 years. The changes will result in increased efficiencies and further focus on the various communities the college serves, reports Jeff Fanter, communications and marketing vice president.

Ivy Tech will now operate with 11 regional chancellors, a number that was as high as 14 in the past. They will continue to oversee the 31-degree granting locations and 75+ educational sites throughout the state within the various regional boundaries. While the college will consolidate administrative functions across the new combined regions, the current 14 regional board of trustees will continue to operate just as they have in the past. Those regional board members will provide vital community outreach and operational expertise in assisting the regional chancellors.

College officials also plan to name what it will refer to as campus presidents for an estimated 20 educational sites throughout the state, many of the degree granting locations. This new title will replace the current title of vice chancellor/dean that exists in many of these locations, thus resulting in no additional new staff. The Campus presidents will report to the chancellors within the sites they serve. Their will be outreach to the local community. Further details are expected to be released soon.

“Ivy Tech is focused on being responsive to the local community needs and work force development efforts. Regional consolidation, along with the recent restructuring of our academic divisions and soon to be named campus presidents, will allow us to expand our outreach efforts and ensure that we are providing what our communities need,” says President Thomas Snyder.

“We believe that all of these changes are a part of our plan to align with the Indiana Career Council and Works Councils efforts. Ivy Tech, in addition to its transfer mission, continues to be focused on job skills development and career training. Our new structure will allow us to best assess existing skill gaps between available jobs and Indiana’s work force and partner with business and industry to fill those gaps.”

Regional organizational changes include the combination of the East Central region, which includes the degree-granting locations of Anderson, Marion, Muncie and New Castle, with the Richmond region, which includes the Richmond and Connersville locations. They will be led by current East Central Chancellor Andrew Bowne.

The Columbus region, which includes the degree-granting locations of Columbus and Franklin, will now be combined with the Southeast region, which includes locations in Batesville, Lawrenceburg and Madison. They will be overseen by a single chancellor. An interim chancellor will be named soon.

In addition, the Greencastle location, formerly part of the Wabash Valley region, will now be managed as part of the Central Indiana region.

The college first combined regions in April 2013 when Chancellor Thomas Coley was named to oversee both his current North Central region in addition to the Northwest region.

“Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s primary open enrollment institution of higher education and the state’s largest college/university with over 100,000 students each term. The only way the state will reach its goal of increasing the number of adults with a degree or certification to 60 percent by 2025 is if Ivy Tech is successful,” trustee chairman Steve Schreckengast notes.

“We are focused on the success of our students and in keeping higher education affordable and accessible. At the same time we are faced with state funding challenges and must operate as efficiently as possible and eliminate any unnecessary duplication.”

Ivy Tech has communicated its funding challenges in the past, and they include that from 2006-12, the college’s funding per full-time equivalent student has decreased from $3,248 to $2,543. The current funding per student (regardless if part time or full time) is $1,210 as compared to a funding per student of more than $10,000 at other institutions. This has resulted in college officials having to defer nearly $80 million of investments in such things as additional equipment, academic advisors and full-time faculty. While at the same time the college has been able to keep an impressive AA bond rating, one of the few community colleges in the nation with such a rating.

The anticipated savings from these consolidations will permit Ivy Tech to achieve the recently announced $4 million budget reversion from the state and to the extent possible, add a limited number of additional advisors and full-time faculty. In total, because of resources it has had to defer, the college estimates it needs over 300 more advisors and 1,000 more professors converted to full time in order to reach the ratios it desires.