Purdue Profile: Cheryl Purefoy

March 27, 2012

Cheryl Purefoy, director of printing, parking, airport and transportation. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)

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Whether she's dealing with printing services, parking, the Purdue Airport or transportation on campus, Cheryl Purefoy's enthusiasm for keeping the University moving bubbles over.

Last spring, in addition to her responsibilities as director of printing services, Purefoy became director of the three transportation entities -- Parking, Purdue University Airport and Transportation Service -- which are housed under service enterprises within Physical Facilities. Also an advocate for diversity on campus and in Greater Lafayette, Purefoy is a member of Purdue's Black Caucus for Faculty and Staff and is on the board of trustees for the Greater Lafayette Indiana Black Expo.

What led you to become interested in printing and transportation services?

Before I came to Purdue, I was director of materials handling at the University of Akron and, before that, the director of materials handling at Bowling Green State University, both located in Ohio. But before any of that, I actually worked in health care administration. A previous employer asked me to take on some new responsibilities related to printing because he said he needed my people skills. Everything else followed from there.

How did you come to be Purdue's director of the transportation entities?

We were looking for a consolidated way for the campus to interact with all of the forms of transportation at Purdue. Specifically, we were looking to integrate transportation, the airport and parking because those areas have a lot of synergy. We established a consolidated website, at www.purdue.edu/pat, and all those operations were merged under my leadership. It just made sense to bring all those groups together.

I came here in 2007 as the director of printing services, but I actually had some transportation-related responsibilities at my previous positions at other universities. So I think that was part of the decision-making process as far as making me the director of the transportation entities. I also have a tremendous group of people working with me -- they are a huge part of how we continue to get things done.

What are your responsibilities as director of printing services?

At Printing Services, we do everything from design services to offering full finishing operations. We have digital-capable copiers and a complete mailroom operation. We've also recently taken on the pre-sort and international mail for the campus. There are printing satellites in three academic buildings as well as in the Purdue Memorial Union.

We're working on establishing a customer council so we can better determine our customers' printing needs. We also want to continue to adapt to the needs of the campus. For example, we're now very much a society that depends on technology, and we want to make sure we address those needs in the printing arena. We're doing things such as helping people establish and maintain websites, creating PDFs that are compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and assisting the campus community with the latest technologies.

What initiatives are happening in the parking, airport and transportation areas?

At the airport, we've recently identified a consultant to help us with our airport master plan. That work will help us plan for the future, and we will marry those plans with the aviation technology program needs and with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration.

In transportation, our services have recently moved into three different locations. They include a new fuel island and car wash near the Printing Services Building, a mechanic shop at the airport and our fleet storage, which is located in the Physical Facilities Services Building.

As far as parking, we've been working with a campus master-planning group to analyze parking locations and their proximity to campus destinations. We're also in the process of allowing people to pay their parking fines online instead of by phone or in person. Our next goal will be to allow people to purchase permits online.

How do you advocate for diversity on campus and in Greater Lafayette?

As a board member of the Greater Lafayette Indiana Black Expo, I helped coordinate the corporate luncheon last summer. We're also looking forward to our annual conference that's coming up here in April.

Diversity is a critical thing because it allows us to have a workforce that is reflective of the community, the state and the whole country. That's an endeavor that I'm very passionate about because it has reverberating effects for the campus and the entire community. It's really an exciting thing, and I'm looking forward to continuing those efforts in the future.