ECN's Impact at Purdue
Since it's creation in 1977, ECN has had tremendous support from engineering faculty, particularly school heads, and deans of schools. It was the head of Electrical Engineering who started the first support group and Dean Hancock decided to provide services throughout the schools of engineering. From that time on, Deans have greatly supported ECN. The high level of support from around Purdue has been ECN's greatest asset from the beginning, and ECN has made reflecting that support back to the schools and providing for engineering needs the primary goals.
ECN impacts Purdue by providing computing services that are tailored for the needs of engineering students and that go beyond the general computing services that are provided for the campus at large. For example, engineering has historically used the Unix operating system, which provides great opportunities for students to study computer engineering from a software perspective. There would have been great loss had engineering not provided these opportunities to Purdue engineering students in terms of computing techniques. In general, ECN has provided resources that were tailored for what engineering students and faculty need to be successful. It is configured in a way that gives them greater flexibility and systems than they would have had from the campus at large. ECN provides increased opportunities and exposure to engineering students to help prepare them for life after college. There are many Purdue engineering graduates who would not have had as broad exposure to computing had ECN not been here, and there are opportunities that faculty and researchers have that ECN helps them obtain. There are tools and applications that ECN supports, updates, creates, and maintains that make day to day life possible around the engineering campus. Hardware and software available to engineering students, staff, and faculty comes through ECN, as funding allows.
ECN's impact is slightly hindered by a lack of growth opportunities. ECN, in the past, was able to grow in terms of staff numbers with responsibilities, in terms of number of machines and software applications. ECN is not able to keep pace with all the machines and applications that faculty would like ECN to support, including PDA's, laptops, operating systems, etc. In an ideal situation, ECN would have additional staff and could impact Purdue even more deeply to handle more faculty interests.