Our opinion

Expansion of Ivy Tech necessary

The Herald-Times
June 27, 2013

Recent comments by Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder suggesting the college may need to close as many as 20 of its locations statewide has put the Bloomington campus in an awkward position.

Legislators will no doubt ask: Why should Ivy Tech be expanding in Bloomington when it’s shutting facilities elsewhere to save money?

Fortunately, State Budget Committee Chairman Tim Brown seems to understand why. He told the H-T’s Mike Leonard this week that the concerns of the statewide Ivy Tech system and the Bloomington campus space needs are “like comparing apples and maybe walnuts.”

He said: “(I)f the Bloomington area can in their presentation to us provide good justification for their space needs and capital project, that is something we’ll consider separately from other issues.”

The Bloomington campus has been growing steadily and now needs to lease space outside of the main Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at a cost of $460,000 a year. Expanding the main building will be a wise investment.

While prospects are still good, based on Brown’s comments, former state budget committee chairman Rep. Luke Kenley showed why concern is valid. He said he wants to get a full picture of Ivy Tech’s financial situation, because “you can’t just build new buildings and operate them when you’re running a deficit.”

Understood. But it would be unwise to let shortcomings elsewhere in the community college system overshadow the record or block the legitimate needs of the Bloomington campus. Enrollment outgrew the academic facility years ago. The phase two expansion project is needed and should move forward.

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.