Campus IT committee announces plans to reorganize information technology

April 20, 2010

A campus-wide IT committee, charged by President France A. Córdova, has released a governance plan for campus-wide information technology efforts to achieve efficiencies and save money.

The three-year plan will be implemented beginning May 1 under the leadership of VP for IT and CIO Gerry McCartney in concert with the offices of the treasurer and the provost.

The plan is expected to generate cost savings of $5 million in the 2011 fiscal year (which begins July 1, 2010), and recurring cost savings of at least $10 million by the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The plan also includes approaches to increase this savings to a recurring $15 million per year into the future.

The comprehensive plan will involve all areas on the West Lafayette campus.

The plan includes three main components:

* A new governance model for information technology on the West Lafayette campus.

* Approaches to generate $15 million annually in reduced costs or added revenue.

* Strategies to make IT responsive to the needs of all areas of the University.

The Campus Information Technology Plan Committee, which included faculty, staff and student representatives, was composed of subcommittees to review IT governance and cost-savings measures. The plan is available on the "Sustaining New Synergies" Web site at

McCartney, Purdue's vice president for information technology, chief information officer, and Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology, said the new plan provides a roadmap to reducing IT costs and improving efficiencies in the years to come.

"I very much appreciate the efforts of the members of the campus committee in developing this plan," McCartney said. "We anticipate that this plan will generate cost savings of $5 million in the 2011 fiscal year and recurring cost savings of $10 million by the end of the 2012 fiscal year. The approaches in the plan are expected to grow into recurring savings of $15 million per year over time."

The first stage of the plan will capture savings through increased efficiency from ITaP and computing groups that support administrative areas, through eliminating redundancies, consolidating core services and leveraging existing capabilities.

The first stage also will reduce costs by consolidating computer labs and data centers and cost savings from academic IT areas.

According to the committee report, governance and cost-savings measures should create additional opportunities to further leverage resources and skills. This will likely lead to the elimination of some positions and the creation of others.

McCartney said some staff positions would be consolidated and those will be handled using vacancies and reduction-in-force procedures. An employee in layoff status will be given priority consideration for placement into other University positions for which he or she qualifies.

The 21-member Campus Information Technology Plan Committee submitted a draft version of the campus IT plan on March 11, and it was available for comments from the campus community on the "Sustaining New Synergies" Web site. In addition, the CITP committee presented the draft plan to several campus groups, including the Faculty Senate University Resources Policy Committee and to the academic deans.

Connie Lapinskas, assistant provost for financial affairs and committee chair, said a significant number of people commented on the draft plan via the Sustaining New Synergies Web site, forums, departmental presentations and direct communications with committee members.

"We were pleased to see that so many people took the opportunity to comment on the plan," she said. "We know that in some offices the staff held meetings to discuss the plan and the effects on their area. That level of thoroughness was enormously helpful in making sure the plan was well thought-out."

Chris Martin, the IT-lead for the Sustaining New Synergies task force, says committee members reviewed each comment and suggestion.

"The committee discussed each comment that was submitted," he said. "In some cases the comments resulted in changes to the draft plan. In other cases, the comments were helpful, but they didn't fit within the direction of the envisioned future IT organization."

The new plan is the first campus-wide review of information technology since 2001 when the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology was formed. The review is being conducted as part of the Sustaining New Synergies initiative.