Faculty Convocation Spring 2021

January 25, 2021

Remarks by Chancellor Thomas L. Keon and Provost Kenneth C. Holford

Thank you so very much for all that you do!

The years 2020 and 2021 across a series of four emoji: first sad, then extremely angry, then crying, then cool with sunglasses.

Upcoming CelebrationsA logo showing 5 * 75 Purdue University Northwest Roaring Ahead around an illustration of a running lion

Contingency Planning for 2021 and Beyond

  • Role of Uncertainty
  • Impact of the Environment
  • Impact of Unforeseen Factors

 Significant Contingencies

  • Enrollment: Head Count and Credit Hour Production
  • COVID Effect on Enrollment
  • State Financial Support
  • U. S. Immigration Policy and International Student Enrollment

Contingency Planning for Enrollment

  • Continued declines at Midwest and Northeast Colleges/Universities
    • Transfer students (down) nationwide
    • Returning students (down) at PNW and in the Midwest
    • Applications (down) at PNW and in Northwest Indiana
  • International Students
    • COVID Effect: How long will it last?
    • U.S. Immigration Policy

Fall 2021 Undergraduate Applications

Submitted through 12/15/20

InstitutionsFall 21 Application Trends
Ball State -10.0%
Indiana State-10.0%
IU-South Bend-20.1%
PU-Fort Wayne-10.0%
PU-West Lafayette -1.2%
Univ of Southern Indiana-8.0%
IvyTech CC -20-25%
  • Reliable data is essential.
  • Accurate predications, months and weeks in advance of the semester
  • Institutional Research – Michael Bourgeois and Team

Contingency Planning for State Funding

  • State funding has been reliable and predictable pre-COVID.
  • State funding has primarily been a fixed amount based on historical budgeting. IT IS NOT PER-STUDENT.
  • Indiana funding is generally at the mid-point of states within the U.S. based on a per capita basis.

Higher Education Support per Capita by State

Fiscal 2017A chart showing higher education support per capita, by state. New Hampshire is the lowest, at $93, while Wyoming is the highest at $714. Indiana comes in in near the middle of the chart at $262.


1. Higher education support is state and local tax and nontax support for public and independent higher education, including special purpose appropriations for research-agricultural-medical.

2. Full-time equivalent enrollment equates student credit hours to full-time, academic-year students.

Sources: State Higher Education Executive Officers; Population data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Income Division.

State Funding for Higher Education Remains Far Below Pre-Recession Levels in Most States

Percent change in state spending per student, inflation adjusted. 2008-2018

A graph showing changes in state funding for higher education for 2008 to 2018. Arizona is at the top of the chart with a 55.7% decrease while North Dakota is at the bottom of the chart with a 16.1% increase. Indiana is number six, with a 1.2% decrease.

State Financial Support and COVID

  • State Support 2020-21
    • State reduced all state agencies by 15%
    • State reduced Higher Education by 7%
  • State Support 2021-23
    • To be determined.
    • ICHE recommended restoring the 7%
    • Governor recommended restoring the 7 %, plus a 1% increase in FY22 and another 1% in FY23
    • Still several steps until the Legislature finally approves budget.

Long Term Contingency Planning

  • Significantly less predictable
  • Expect continued enrollment declines (Demographic Cliff)

A line graph showing projections for four-year regional colleges in the West, South, Northeast and Midwest from 2018 to 2034. Colleges in the West project an 8% increase while the South, Northeast and Midwest show 6%, 10% and 10% declines, respectively. Source: Nathan D. Grawe, The Agile College.

A line graph showing projections for four-year national colleges in the West, South, Northeast and Midwest from 2018 to 2034. Colleges in the West and South project 19% and 13% increases, respectively, while the Northeast and Midwest show 11% and 14% declines, respectively. Source: Nathan D. Grawe, The Agile College.

Long-Term Contingency Planning

What does PNW need to do?

  • Add new majors that have viable markets
  • Increase the perceived and actual quality of PNW and PNW programs

Looking at the Landscape: Today and Tomorrow at PNW

  • Where We Are Today
    • Faculty Accomplishments and Points of Pride
    • Update on initial priorities
    • Core enrollment and credit hours
    • Navigating the budget impacts FY21 (and beyond)
  • Responding to the Challenges
    • Student retention and success
    • Financial aid
  • Thinking About Tomorrow

Faculty Accomplishments and Points of Pride

  • Increasing number of endowed professorships
    • Chenn Zhou, NIPSCO Distinguished Professor of Engineering Simulation
    • Scott Bates, Nils K. Nelson Associate Professor of Biology
    • John Durocher, Nils K. Nelson Associate Professor of Health Studies
    • 2 additional in CON to be announced in fall
  • Sponsored research activity
    • Closing in on $20m this year (49+ awards from 27 different agencies)
    • $5.9m from NSA to Professor Manguhi Tu, et al. (fall)
    • $7m from DOE to CIVS Team (spring)
  • Increasing number of faculty earning national exposure

PNW Race, Racism, Anti-Racism Lecture Series

See the Series Details

Unheard Voices Of Protest

Lee ArtzThree leaders of protests against racism and police violence engage in a roundtable discussion about how they are strategically and tactically challenging racist practices in the US. Aislinn Pulley (Chicago Black Lives Matter), Jae Yates (Twin Cities Coalition for Justice) and Missie Summers (Porter County BLM) lead a panel conversation hosted by PNW professor of media studies Lee Artz.

Interview with Q&A
Tuesday, January 26, 12:30-1:45 PM

Health, Equity and Communities of Color

Karen Bishop-MorrisOn World Cancer Day, associate professor of English Karen Bishop Morris talks with Tranece Artis (Executive Director, Laini Fluellen Charities), Maria Perez (Coordinator, ACCESS Community Health) and Rachel Nagengast (Cancer Education Program Specialist with ACCESS).

Interview with Q&A
Thursday, February 4, 12:30-1:45 PM

Race, Gender and the 2020 Election

Nadia BrownNadia E. Brown, associate professor of political science, Purdue West Lafayette, assesses the nation’s commitment to democratic ideals, focusing on the inclusion and exclusion of minoritized groups during the 2020 election, especially Black women voters and candidates.

Interview with Q&A
Tuesday, March 23, 12:30-1:45 PM

The 1619 Project # Summer of 2020

Mita ChoudhuryReflecting on The New York Times 1619 Project – a history of the British imperialist project of enslaving Africans and colonizing America – Mita Choudhury, professor of English, invites a dialogue about the subversive power of protests, riots and resistance to authoritarianism.

Interview with Q&A
Monday, April 19, 12:30-1:45 PM

Academic Affairs Priorities (Update)

  • Enriched student experience
    • Improve the quality and abundance of co-curricular opportunities
    • Innovate and refine general education
    • Focus on the needs of students and stakeholders (ongoing)
  • Strategic enrollment growth
    • Continue to improve retention and success (ongoing)
    • Work together to improve success in gateway courses (needs attention)
    • Identify “at-risk” students early and adopt strategies to intervene (needs attention)
    • Create high demand degree programs (needs attention)
  • National and regional growth through discovery and innovation
    • Identify and promote projects with regional or metropolitan impact (campus highlight)
    • Enhance collaborative and interdisciplinary research opportunities
  • Identity
    • Focus on becoming a more inclusive and welcoming campus (needs attention)
    • Developing applied doctoral programs in select areas
    • Recognize and celebrate faculty excellence
    • Promote the quality and relevance of the academic programs

Changes in the Core Headcount

A four-semester graph of “headcount” at PNW’s Westville and Hammond campuses shows 1697 students in Westville and 5964 in Hammond for Fall 2019; 1544 students in Westville and 5368 in Hammond in Spring 2020; 1516 students in Westville and 5540 in Hammond in Fall 2020; and 1275 students in Westville and 4805 in Hammond in Spring 2021. Those last figures are more than 3 to 4% lower than the anticipated 10%.

Projected Impact on Core Billable Hours

A four-semester graph of “core billable hours” at PNW shows 92,470 for Fall 2019; 82,921 for Spring 2020; 87325 for Fall 2020; and 74,344 for Spring 2021. That last figure is more than 3% lower than the anticipated 10%.

First-Time-in-College (FTIC) Retention

FTIC CohortInitial SizeEnrolled 1st SpringEnrolled 2nd Fall
Fall 2018Fall 2019 
Full-time1121990 (88.3%)748 (66.7%)
Part-time5133 (64.7%)21 (41.2%)
Fall 2018 Total11721023 (87.3%)769 (65.6%)
Fall 2019Fall 2020
Full-time12071088 (90.1%)852 (70.6%)
Part-time2816 (57.1%)15 (53.6%)
Fall 2019 Total12351104 (89.4%)867 (70.2%)
Fall 2020Spring 2021
Full-time1043828 (79.39%)
Part-time5631 (53.36%)
Fall 2020 Total1099828 (78.16%)

1. Fall 2019 to Spring 2020 FTIC Retention = 89.4%

(improve over previous year)

2. Spring to Fall 2020 retention again improved

*Academic forgiveness

3. Fall 2020 to Spring 2021 FTIC Retention = 78.16%

(11% lower than previous years)

Navigating the Budget Impacts

Resolving Fiscal Year 2021

  • Enrollment declines (including international)
  • COVID-19 impacts
  • Avoided furlough using unfilled lines and temporary savings
  • Necessary to make the permanent adjustments

FY 2022 and Beyond Will Require Contingency Planning

  • Normal enrollment variability due to changing landscape
  • COVID-19 volatility
  • Possible changes in state appropriations

Responding to the Challenges

  • Robust digital marketing campaign for AY21 and AY22
  • EMSA developing plans to re-engage and re-invigorate the student body
  • Cohesive communication strategy
    • Collaboration between AA and EMSA
    • Goal to support access to advising and centralized scheduling
    • Slate and Navigate leveraged to help students in their virtual learning environments
  • Collaboration between colleges and academic advisors
    • Degree plans for all students (goal of 95%+ by end of May)
    • Standardized process for documenting student interactions in Navigate related to enrollment/retention strategies
    • Saturday virtual appointments and enrollment triage session
    • Identification and assistance for at-risk student populations (programming)

Financial Support for our Students

  • CARES Act Funding
    • $3m+ provided to student body (additional assistance coming)
  • Internal scholarships and grants
    • COVID Tuition Relief Scholarship
    • Dean of Students Emergency Fund
  • COVID Tuition Scholarships for Graduate Students
    • Jointly funded by PNW and the Graduate School
    • $10,000 in scholarships made available for Fall 2020 and Fall 2021
      • Full-time, degree-seeking or teacher license graduate students (6+ hours)
      • Impacted by COVID through illness, family illness, job loss, etc.
      • Apply for $500 scholarship

Thinking About Tomorrow…

  • Significant challenges require collaboration
  • Thinking about our opportunities and making choices
    • Continue to invest in and leverage development and training
  • Implementation of an evolving strategy for Westville
    • Rebuilding the campus community
  • Continue to recognize and promote faculty accomplishments
    • Measure of the quality of the institution and value of education
  • Collective “boosterism” in the communities
    • Quality education, student focus, and great value

Spring, Summer and Fall Schedules

Spring 21 schedule:

  •  Face-to-face: 16%
  •  Virtual classroom: 33% (38% of enrollments)
  •  Hybrid: 33%
  •  Asynchronous online: 18%

Summer 21 course schedule

  • Majority of courses in online format (historic schedule)
  • Request to instructors and departments to consider moving some content

Planning for a Return to Normal Scheduling in the Fall