WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Thomas Keon will be the chancellor when Purdue University Northwest officially comes into existence on July 1, 2016, the result of the unification of Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central.
The announcement was made Friday (Nov. 20) by Purdue President Mitch Daniels and search committee chair Gary Lehman, a Purdue trustee.
“Today, we take another important step in building a great new economic and educational asset in northwest Indiana,” Daniels said. “No one, starting with Tom, underestimates the difficulty of bringing together two campuses, their faculty and staff, but we are confident in the tremendous potential for cultural and commercial enrichment in the region. Chancellor Keon has an extraordinary opportunity to lead what will be the fifth largest public university in Indiana and one that will have positive impact on students and businesses for years to come.”
Keon has been chancellor of Purdue Calumet since 2011. James Dworkin, who has served as chancellor of Purdue North Central since 2000, will remain in his position through June 30, 2016. Dworkin will continue working with Keon on a smooth transition as they have since 2014. After a sabbatical year, Dworkin will return to Purdue’s West Lafayette campus in fall 2017 as a full professor in Krannert School of Management, where he began his Purdue career in 1976.
“I am extremely humbled and extremely excited to take on this enormous responsibility,” Keon said. “I am mindful of the very difficult work that is ahead and completely committed to the task of building and cementing relationships that will ultimately lead to the success of our campuses and community. I also want to offer my sincere thanks to Jim Dworkin for his always wise counsel and to the campuses and northwest Indiana community for the collaborative efforts that will lead to the success of this new institution.”
Once unification is complete, Purdue Northwest will be a comprehensive university enrolling approximately 16,000 students, employing more than 1,500 faculty and staff, and offering more than 45 graduate and undergraduate programs of study on two campuses. The two campus locations will be respectively identified as Purdue University Northwest-Calumet and Purdue University Northwest-North Central. The unification is pending approval by the Higher Learning Commission.
The chancellor-designate will be responsible for working with stakeholders from the two existing campuses to advance academic quality, student success and affordability. He also will be charged with meeting with local employers and community leaders to ensure that the new institution is meeting the needs of the regional economy.
Purdue trustees approved the creation of Purdue University Northwest in July 2014, reflecting the university’s commitment to finding administrative cost savings and promoting student affordability and accessibility. A website with updates on the integration process is available at http://www.unifynorthcentralcalumet.org/.