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April 5, 2013

Purdue reorganizes printing operation, reduces staff

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Fewer printing projects and loss of revenue have forced a reorganization of Purdue University's Printing Services, resulting in staff layoffs and reduced services.

Expenses had outpaced revenue over the last few years as demand for high-end printed materials dropped and electronic messaging and Web projects supplanted printed communications. Printing Services, which is required to be self-supporting, had expanded into digital printing and targeted mailing services, but it wasn't enough, said Robert McMains, vice president for physical facilities, which oversees Printing Services.

"The operation was working effectively, but the work wasn't there. We were looking at an estimated deficit of about $700,000 by the end of the fiscal year, and we couldn't afford that," McMains said. "The staff is talented and hard-working, but the demand for print materials has dropped dramatically."

Printing Services employs 48 people working two shifts. Of those, 33 staff members will be placed in layoff status, which means their final day at Printing Services will be May 3. They will receive medical benefits for an additional 120 days and priority consideration for other job openings on campus. Fifteen people will remain.

Continuing services include course packets and copyright clearances, duplication services, letterhead and stationery printing, bulk and targeted mailings, promotional products, and print management that includes brokering jobs to outside printers. Printing Services also will continue to provide secure printing for payroll and tax documents and student billing statements. There will be limited support for binding, archiving and design services for print and electronic projects.

The BoilerCopyMaker Center in the Purdue Memorial Union will remain open, but the three satellite printing centers in academic buildings will close.

A separate review announced in February to evaluate systemwide university printing needs and options for addressing those needs will continue, McMains said.

Writer: Chris Sigurdson, 765-496-2644, sig@purdue.edu

Source: Robert McMains, 765-494-8000, remcmains@purdue.edu