Purdue committee plans how to streamline IT services

February 11, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue officials outlined an initial plan as part of the Sustaining New Synergies initiative to reduce the university's information technology costs while remaining globally competitive.

Gerry McCartney

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Gerry McCartney, Purdue's vice president for information technology, chief information officer, and Olga Oesterle England Professor of Information Technology, said at the meeting of Purdue's board of trustees on Thursday (Feb. 11) that IT organizations are changing at universities and corporations across the nation.

"The common points you see in IT plans for many organizations are reducing energy costs, using strategic sourcing in purchasing and reviewing their organizational structures to make them as efficient as possible," McCartney said. "Our only key difference for Purdue is that we are planning to look to increase funding in areas that are directly tied to our 'New Synergies' strategic plan, such as research computing and learning technologies."

Purdue has set a goal of reducing recurring IT costs by $15 million over the next two fiscal years.

At the beginning of the month the university formed a 21-member Campus Information Technology Plan Committee. The committee will develop a new IT plan for the West Lafayette campus by March 30.

"Our IT goals and metrics will be tied directly to the strategic plan of the university," McCartney said. "We want to be able to move with power and speed as opportunities present themselves but still be operationally credible."

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

Members of the new Campus Information Technology Plan Committee are:

• Emily Arentson, graduate student, Department of Foods and Nutrition

• Mimi Arighi, director, Veterinary Teaching Hospital

• David Carmichael, director, Engineering Computer Network

• Wei Cui, professor, Department of Physics

• Melissa Dark, associate dean, research and strategic planning, College of Technology

• Ellen Gruenbaum, head, Department of Anthropology

• Eckhard Groll, professor, School of Mechanical Engineering

• Steven Hare, director, administrative computing, College of Science

• G. Logan Jordan, associate dean, Krannert School of Management

• Julie Kercher-Updike, associate vice president, ITaP Customer Relations

• Connie Lapinskas, assistant provost, financial affairs

• Chris Martin, Sustaining New Synergies task force

• Sandra Monroe, assistant vice president, Student Services

• Rabindra Mukerjea, director, Strategic Planning and Assessment

• Jaylene Nichols, secretary, Space Management and Academic Scheduling

• Alan Rebar Sr., associate vice president for research, executive director, Discovery Park

• Miguel Rivera, undergraduate student, College of Science

• Terry Schroeder, assistant director, Business Services computing

• Carol Shelby, senior director, Environmental Health and Public Safety

• Patrick Smoker, head, Department of Agricultural Information Technology

• Samuel Wagstaff, professor, Department of Computer Science

The committee charter will be available on the "Sustaining New Synergies" Web site at http://www.purdue.edu/sustaining/

The Campus Information Technology Plan Committee follows the work of six campus committees formed in September 2009 to review Purdue's IT areas as part of a larger, campus-wide Management Operations Review Team (MORT) effort.

The six areas reviewed by the MORT IT subcommittees were:

• Institutional e-mail

• IT organizational structure

• Student computer labs

• Approved data centers

• Desktop computing services

• Student records

In December 2009 the committees submitted preliminary MORT IT reports on proposed changes to Al Diaz, Purdue's executive vice president for business and finance, treasurer.

The MORT IT reports also will be available on the "Sustaining New Synergies" Web site.

Writer: Steve Tally, 765-494-9809, tally@purdue.edu

Source: Gerry McCartney, 765-496-2270, mccart@purdue.edu

Related information:
Purdue President France A. Córdova's charge letter regarding Information Technology Services at Purdue 

Campus Technology article on Purdue's IT plan