IPFW Faces $4 M. Deficit, Cancels RiverFest (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive
By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

October 11, 2013 Updated Oct 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Budget troubles put an end to a popular summer festival. A drop in enrollment this fall led IPFW to canceling its RiverFest.

The university saw a 4% drop in enrollment this semester. That caused a deficit of about $4 million.

RiverFest is a festival that's been supported by the community. This summer it had more than 30 sponsors.

University officials wouldn't comment on exactly how much they would save by not holding RiverFest, but did say it's also about the savings in IPFW staff being used on the day of the event.

"RiverFest was an event that did receive community support, and sponsorship but it was heavily subsidized by the university, and wasn't a self-supporting event. So as a result of that university funding it was evaluated," said Nicole Wilkins, Chief Communications Officer, IPFW.

Last year IPFW was faced with an almost $9 million deficit. Cuts were made to balance the budget, and the university planned for enrollment to stay the same this year. However, this fall it dropped again creating the $4 million hole.

And there are still more cuts are to come. The university is creating a budget committee to look at where they will trim now to get back to a balanced budget.

Below is a letter from Chancellor Vicky Carwein sent to IPFW staff and faculty:

As you know our enrollment declined this past fall resulting in an approximate $4 million revenue shortfall. Regular discussions with and among deans, faculty leadership, and administrators have been taking place over the past several weeks relative to this situation. By the end of this month initial plans for making necessary budget adjustments will be shared with campus. In addition, the University Budget Committee, as described last spring during our budget forums, will be appointed in the next few weeks. The committee will be chaired by the Vice Chancellor for Financial and Administrative Affairs, Stan Davis.

For the past 50 years IPFW has proudly celebrated our community engagement through a wide variety of events and activities such as the Omnibus Lecture Series and Tapestry: A Day for You and we will continue our commitment to our community. I look forward to the many events planned for our 50th Anniversary celebration in 2014. The flagship event, Sculpture with Purpose,TM was launched on October 2 and will enrich the northeast Indiana community and enhance the spirit and culture of Fort Wayne. With all these good things to look forward to we have also had to take a hard look at projects and events subsidized by the university and evaluate them for alignment with our mission and priorities. As a result of this evaluation and our need to reduce our budget we will no longer host RiverFest. I look forward to continuing our community outreach and supporting our mission of student success through all the wonderful community events we host each year.

In regards to strategic planning, the CHORUS, Inc. summary of the internal and external surveys has been received and Chair Carl Drummond is forming working groups to review the feedback.

The inaugural IPFW Fall Bus Tour will kick off this Sunday, October 13, and conclude the evening of Tuesday, October 15. The tour includes visits to Purdue West Lafayette, including dinner at Westwood, President Mitch Daniels' home. The tour will provide an opportunity to network with campus colleagues, meet new colleagues, and develop new collaborations. Our travel stops will allow us to showcase IPFW, promote the expertise and capabilities of our campus, recruit for our programs, and make connections throughout. The tour has been funded through the generous donations and support of these community partners: Excursions Trailways, White Lodging (Fairfield Inn in Indianapolis and Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville), City of Fort Wayne, Do It Best, Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power, Parkview Health, Steel Dynamics, Sweetwater Sound, Wells Fargo Insurance, NIPSCO, MSKTD, Ottenweller and Co., NCAA, Hardin Farms, and Purdue Calumet. Look for tour updates and information on Twitter at #IPFWFallTour.

Please join me in celebrating these campus successes:

- Art Herbig, assistant professor of media production in the Department of Communication, has landed a book contract with Rowman and Littlefield. The book, entitled #WeNeedaWord: Discourse and Critique about Contemporary Media, will be edited by Herbig, with Andrew Herrmann, and Adam Tyma.

- Laurel Campbell, assistant professor of art education, will receive the 2013 Indiana Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator of the Year Award next week in Indianapolis, where the Art Education Association of Indiana will be holding its annual convention October 18-20. Award recipients are nominated by their peers and are teachers who show outstanding artistic achievement and service in education. Campbell has served on several review boards of education and research journals, and co-edited an NAEA anthology entitled "The Heart of Art Education: Holistic Approaches to Creativity, Integration, and Transformation."

- The Office of Research, Engagement, and Sponsored Programs (RESP) will honor Abdullah Eroglu, associate professor of electrical engineering, with the 2013 Outstanding Research Award on Friday, November 8, with a special lecture and reception. The lecture will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. in KT 146 with a wine and cheese reception to follow immediately afterward in KT 154.

All my best,


What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

© Copyright 2016, A Quincy Media broadcasting station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.