HLC Action Letter Approving Purdue Northwest

March 3, 2016

Dr. Thomas Keon, Chancellor
Purdue University Calumet
2200 169 th Street
Hammond, IN 46323

Dr. James Dworkin, Chancellor
Purdue University North Central
1401 S. U.S. Hwy. 421
Westville, IN 46391

Dear Chancellors Keon and Dworkin:

This letter is formal notification of action concerning Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central taken by the Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees (“the Board”). At its meeting on February 25, 2016, the Board voted to approve the application under the Commission’s policy on Change of Control, Structure, or Organization for Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central to unify into a single institution, Purdue University Northwest (“the University”). In taking this action, the Board considered materials submitted to the Commission including the Change of Control request, the Staff Summary Report, the response to the Staff Summary Report, and other materials relevant to the evaluation.

The Board approved the application subject to the condition that, as required by Commission policy and federal regulation, the University host a focused evaluation within six months of the date of the transaction. The evaluation will be focused on the appropriateness of the approval and the University’s compliance with any commitments made in the Change of Control application and with the Eligibility Requirements and the Criteria for Accreditation. The visit will also focus on the following topics: the University engages in collaborative processes, with appropriate input from all stakeholders, to fulfill its mission (Core Component 5.B); the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning (Core Component 5.C); and the University furnishes audited financial information (Eligibility Requirement #8, Assumed Practice D.5) to the Commission.

In keeping with its policies on Assumed Practices, the Commission will also require a plan due no later than June 1, 2016, as to how the University will resolve the issue of its auditing practices to assure that in the future the Commission has audited financial information regarding Purdue University Northwest that is distinct from audited financial information for Purdue University. This audited financial information may be a separate audit or a separate schedule for Purdue University Northwest within the consolidated audit of the Purdue University system.

In addition, the Board placed the University on the Standard Pathway with its next comprehensive evaluation for Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2020-21.

Please send the Commission written notice of the closing date within 24 hours after the transaction has closed. You are also obligated to notify the Commission prior to closing if any of the material terms of this transaction have changed or appear likely to change. By Commission policy the closing must take place within no more  than thirty days from the date of the Board’s approval. If there is any delay such that the transaction cannot close within this time frame, you must notify the Commission as soon as possible.

The Board action will result in changes to the affiliation of the University when the transaction closes. These changes will be reflected on the Institutional Status and Requirements (ISR) Report, which is available upon request. Some of the information on that document, such as the dates of the last and next comprehensive evaluation visits, will be posted to the Commission’s website.

Commission policy COMM.A.10.010, Commission Public Notices and Statements, requires that the Commission prepare a summary of actions to be sent to the appropriate state and federal agencies and accrediting associations and published on its website. The summary will include the Commission Board action regarding the University. The University is encouraged to prepare statements to its constituents regarding this action; I ask that you copy your staff liaison, Dr. Sunil Ahuja, on any such communication.

Please contact Dr. Ahuja if you have questions about any of the information in this letter. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank you and your associates for your cooperation.

Barbara Gellman-Danley President


  • Chair of the Board of Trustees, Purdue University
  • Dr. Rebecca H. Stankowski, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor, Accreditation and Assessment, Purdue University Calumet, ALO
  • Dr. Karen Schmid, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Purdue University-North Central, ALO
  • Dr. Sunil Ahuja, Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Institutional Change, and Research, Higher Learning Commission
  • Ms. Karen L. Solinski, Executive Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs, Higher Learning Commission