Topics: Human Resources, Emerging Media, College of Communication Information and Media

December 8, 2008

Nationally recognized campus technology innovator Phil Repp has been named vice president for information technology (IT) at Ball State University, where he has served as associate vice president for IT since 2002 and interim vice president since September 2007. The author or co-author of two major grant proposals to the Lilly Endowment Inc. resulting in $40 million for the university and the establishment of its renowned Center for Media Design (CMD), he now will help oversee implementation of a new $17.7 million Emerging Media Initiative (EMI) meant to focus and accelerate the university's expertise in the field while spurring economic development through innovation, technology transfer and the enhanced skills of a 21st century workforce.

Repp, who joined Ball State in 1981 after teaching and administrative stints at Michigan State and Virginia Tech, is among Campus Technology magazine's 2008 innovators of the year for his efforts in forming and advancing Ball State's Digital Corps, the university's in-house group of professional and student media experts. His work also is responsible for burgeoning collaborative relationships between Ball State and major technology players such as Apple and Microsoft, including an agreement to be one of the latter's few alpha testers for its cutting-edge Surface technology.

"Our leadership in emerging media owes much to Phil's tireless pursuit of new technology-related immersive learning opportunities for our students," said President Jo Ann M. Gora in announcing Repp's permanent appointment. "He was instrumental — together with Dave Ferguson, our newly named associate vice president for emerging media — in creating the CMD, which has made important contributions to the research, testing and practical application of digital technologies for the workplace, classroom, home and community, while at the same time putting some of the latest technology available at our students' fingertips. As we pursue even more ambitious goals with our new Emerging Media Initiative, Phil's commitment, as well as his more than 25 years of information technology and higher education experience, should prove only more valuable to Ball State's future success in this vital area."

Formed in renewed response to the influential 2000 Battelle Institute study that identified information technology as one of four "pillar" industries (along with advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and transportation and logistics) critical to Indiana's continued economic viability, EMI plans to invest $17.7 million during the next five years to, among other objectives, explore evolving Web 2.0 applications and other Internet-based communication and entertainment innovations that are spawning both new businesses and products.

"One needn't look very far — the laptop in front of you or the BlackBerry or iPhone of the person next to you — to realize the central roles that information technology and emerging media increasingly play in our daily lives," said Repp. "Just think of Google, YouTube or Facebook, none of which existed as we know it now even a decade ago. Today, they've become almost indispensable to how many of us gather, process and share information.

"That 'trajectory of technology' is only getting steeper, and so we must remain proactive not only in improving our information technology and administrative services, but also in enhancing tech support on campus, attempting to realize greater organizational efficiencies within our IT structure and now, additionally, in seizing opportunities to support EMI. I am very excited at our prospects and look forward to intensifying my engagement with that always new set of challenges."