January 26, 2010

To: Vice President William G. McCartney

Re: Information Technology Services at Purdue

For many years, Information Technology (IT) services at Purdue have enjoyed a national and international reputation for reaching new milestones. The impressive impacts of IT services at Purdue are seen in education and research in many disciplines. Most recently Purdue has enjoyed success with bringing on large, new research cluster machines (STEELE and COATES) and developing the widely-recognized Signals approach to enhance the academic progress of our students.

Today we face a new fiscal reality: We must meet a severe budget challenge from the State, yet maintain our reputation for quality teaching and research, and remain competitive for the best faculty and students. Purdue is laying plans for long-term, sustainable ways to cut costs. To achieve both immediate and long-term cost savings, all aspects of university operations are under consideration, including academic programs; total compensation packages for faculty and staff; and changes in administrative structures, systems and processes.

As part of this effort, I am requesting that a comprehensive campus-wide plan for Information Technology be developed to reap savings of $5M in FY 2011 and recurring cost savings of at least $10M every year thereafter with an expectation that this can subsequently grow to $15M per year. The plan should:

• Include all of the IT personnel and programs on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus for the next five years and beyond.
• Benchmark against IT governance at other Big Ten universities.
• Capture and encourage the best practices to enhance student success, support our research agenda, and deliver our essential administrative operations in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

IT at Purdue should be seen as an integrated, university-level service provided at the West Lafayette campus under the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology (OVPIT). This will ensure that the collective leverage of Purdue's total investment in IT is used in ways that are efficient, effective, and financially responsible - judiciously reducing duplicate services and efforts, while being responsive to the IT needs of our schools and units.

Specifically, the plan should provide an integrated governance model to ensure that IT infrastructure, applications, and services are not duplicated, unless there are compelling and exceptional reasons for doing so and with the approval of OVPIT. The governance model should also include a mechanism to review new IT systems, services, or infrastructure to ensure that integration within the university framework for IT, security and economic efficiency are fully considered.

You will be responsible for the development of the new Purdue IT implementation plan by Thursday, April 1, 2010. The plan should be coordinated with the "Sustaining New Synergies" task force activities directed by the Treasurer and Provost. I expect that you will become a member of the overall Steering Committee. Please ensure that in developing the IT governance and efficiency plan there are substantial opportunities for involvement and input from faculty, students and staff.

Thank you for your willingness to take on this charge, and for your continued invaluable service to Purdue.



France A. Córdova