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Forum on labor studies planned at IU Northwest

MEDIA ADVISORY Labor Studies Program Forum

Tuesday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m. (CST)

Indiana University Northwest

Savannah Center Room 203-4

Indiana University Students, faculty, staff and others with an interest in the IU Division of Labor Studies can take part in an open discussion Tuesday, August 1 at IU Northwest on the future of the Indiana University program. This is one of five that will take place on regional campuses this week.

The public forum will be from 7 to 9 pm. in Room 203-04 in Savannah Center, located at the Southeast corner of the main parking lot at Broadway and 34th avenue.

For the past year, the statewide Labor Studies Program has been looking for a new academic home after IUPUI officials decided to no longer house the program. The meeting will be with the interim director of Labor Studies Mark Sothmann, appointed by IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz to oversee the dismantling of the program if no new home can be found. Sothmann recently released a plan for Labor Studies that would close most if not all regional campus programs, and maintain its very profitable on-line program at IUPUI with only four of the 12 fulltime faculty.

The IUPUI administration proposes labor studies "hubs" at IU Northwest and IUPUI. The IU Northwest "hub," according to Sothmann's plan, would take the regional faculty but would incurr a significant annual deficit and would then have to terminate faculty within two years. Discussions have taken place with IU Northwest officials; however no final decision has been made on the future of the program.

"With established review procedures, there will be ample opportunity for numerous constituencies to offer comment on the optimal repositioning of labor studies at Indiana University," Sothmann wrote. He also indicated that his final recommendation to Labor Studies would be distributed August 4th, only two days after the last forum at the Fort Wayne campus.

Labor studies at IU began after World War II as a noncredit program for union members. It later became part of the School of Continuing Studies and began offering degree programs in the early '70s. In 1985 Labor Studies initiated full associate and bachelors of science degrees on six campuses. A few years ago, it left continuing studies and became an independent unit at IUPUI but with programs on six IU campuses. It has 102 student majors, most of them at IU Northwest and IUPUI.

IUPUI officials have said they expect to move forward with integrating labor studies into other departments if the division is unable to nail down a suitable merger plan by Dec. 31, 2006

Labor studies forum

WHAT: Public forum on IU Division of Labor Studies.

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 1, 2006

WHERE: Savannah Hall, Room 203-04

WHY: To get input on the future of the division.

ON THE WEB: To read a preliminary academic and budgetary plan for labor studies, see: LaborStudies.pdf



Media Contact:

Christopher Sheid

Michelle Searer
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