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 271 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.

Recent IUPUC

Dr. Marwan Wafa served as IUPUC's vice chancellor and dean from 2009 until 2015. 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.

2014-15 significant developments at IUPUC.


  • A new tradition called Pride Friday was started in August complete with a Pride Walk for all new freshmen to IUPUC.  The day includes the new student convocation; meetings with instructors, other students, program and division faculty, and staff members; lunch; extended orientation sessions; and inspirational speakers.
  • IUPUC was host in October to The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton, former member of the United States House of Representatives (9th Congressional District of Indiana) in the Pride of Indiana Lecture Series who spoke on 'Are We Safer? The Impact of Terrorism on America.'  In addition, Dr. Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, spoke to the campus community about the current state of the economy in May.
  • A Grand Opening Celebration was held in May 2015 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 provides beds for 112 students and is designed specifically for today’s college student.  The development started taking tenants in May 2015 and will see the first IUPUC students move in when classes begin in August.


  • COMMUNICATION STUDIES DEGREE PROGRAM RECEIVES STATE APPROVAL—February 2015, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) approved IUPUC’s proposal to offer the Indiana University Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication Studies. The approval grants IUPUC jurisdiction over curriculum requirements for the Communication Studies degree, allowing faculty to tailor the program to the needs and interests of IUPUC students.
  • 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.
  • IUPUC students can now complete 11 programs entirely at IUPUC.


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. Reinhold Hill
Dr. Laurence Richards
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
Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean
Vice Chancellor and Dean
Director (title changed to Dean in 1994)


Contact, Address and Additional Links


4601 Central Avenue
Columbus, IN 47203

Phone: 812.348.7311

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