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About Columbus

Located 45 minutes south of Indianapolis, Columbus is a welcoming community of about 44,000 residents that's been recognized nationally as a great place to live, work, and retire. With exceptional architecture, great parks, miles of scenic walking and jogging trails, and an attractive and vibrant city center, Columbus is a city where you'll feel right at home.

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Major Milestone

In 2000, the shared Columbus campus greatly benefited from the generosity of the Lily Endowment, which awarded a $5 million grant for the development and construction of the Columbus Learning Center (CLC). Ground was broken in 2003 and the CLC, which opened in the fall of 2005, now houses the campus auditorium and lecture hall in addition to classrooms and computer labs. It also includes the:

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Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC) was founded in 1970 to serve the post-secondary education needs of citizens and industry in south central Indiana. We deliver top-quality Indiana University and Purdue University degree programs.

A growing, dynamic campus, IUPUC serves 2,300 students and employs 268 full-time faculty and staff, adjunct faculty and part-time staff. Students at IUPUC are mainly from Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Ripley, and Shelby counties, although other counties are also represented in the student population. IUPUC has a growing international student population due to the presence of international and global industry in the region. It has also begun to attract students from outside the state of Indiana.

IUPUC's student population includes a mix of traditional and nontraditional students. With an average class size of 17.8 students, IUPUC offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including business, communication studies, elementary education, English, general studies, mechanical engineering, nursing, psychology, and sociology.


Dr. Marwan Wafa has served as IUPUC's vice chancellor and dean since 2009. In 2010, Wafa reorganized IUPUC's management structure and initiated the first formal strategic planning process, which included planning by each academic division, operating office, and as an institution. He also updated the university's mission and aspirations and guided the creation of IUPUC's shared values and beliefs.

2013-14 significant developments at IUPUC.


  • A groundbreaking ceremony was held in September 2014 for a $5 million two-story apartment building that will provide IUPUC students with an additional housing option in Columbus.  The fully furnished apartments are located across the street from the Columbus Higher Education Campus within easy walking distance to the four buildings on campus, including IUPUC.  The first phase housing construction will provide beds for 112 students and is designed specifically for today’s college student.  The development is scheduled to start taking tenants beginning summer 2015.


  • ENGLISH DEGREE PROGRAM RECEIVES STATE APPROVAL—September 2013, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) approved IUPUC’s proposal to offer the Indiana University Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English. The approval grants IUPUC jurisdiction over curriculum requirements for the English degree, allowing faculty to tailor the program to the needs and interests of IUPUC students.
  • MINOR IN LEADERSHIP STUDIES—In Spring 2014, IUPUC launched a new minor in leadership studies which consists of five courses covering current leadership theory and practice. The curriculum prepares students for leadership roles in non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, community groups, and the workplace. The minor also readies students for graduate study.
  • MEDICAL CONCENTRATION FOR SOCIOLOGY MAJORS—As of Spring 2014, the sociology program is now offering a medical concentration which is designed to provide students with an increased understanding of the importance of social factors on health, illness, patient care, and the health professions. The concentration offers sociology students with an interest in health and health care services a deeper perspective on the links between human health and society. Students completing the minor will be better prepared for entry into a variety of professional programs and careers including nursing, optometry, medicine, social work, medical sociology, and psychology.
  • IUPUC LAUNCHES NEW CONCENTRATION IN HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION The Division of Business at IUPUC launched a new concentration in health services administration (HSA) as part of its undergraduate curriculum. Required courses for the HSA were offered starting with the 2014 fall classes.


Originally known as IUPUI Columbus, IUPUC first opened its offices and classrooms on August 17, 1970 as an "extension" of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  Through 1971, it offered classes at various locations throughout Columbus. Later that year, all classes were moved to the university's current location at 4601 Central Avenue in Columbus, home of the former Civilian Personnel Building at Bakalar Municipal Airport (now known as the Columbus Municipal Airport).

  • In 1984, the Indiana General Assembly appropriated $2.5 million for the construction of science and technology labs and a new exterior for the IUPUC building. The Indiana University Trustees approved a $3.55 million expansion and renovation at IUPUC. The renovation was completed in 1985, resulting in an expansion of more than 60 percent compared to the pre-renovation square footage.
  • An additional 11 acres of land was deeded to the Indiana University Board of Trustees by the City of Columbus in 1987.
  • In 1994, IUPUI Chancellor Gerald Bepko formally announced that IUPUI Columbus would henceforth be known as Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, commonly known today as IUPUC.

Leadership History

Dr. Marwan Wafa
Dr. Jay Howard
Dr. Nasser Paydar
Dr. Paul Bippen
Dr. Emerson Gilbert                     

Vice Chancellor and Dean
Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean
Vice Chancellor and Dean
Director (title changed to Dean in 1994)