IUPUI — and a most interesting guy

Its referred to as ueee pueee — or Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis.  The two largest universities in Indiana have a shared campus in the capital city. It was described to me like a food court of education. You could attend classes from Indiana, or from Purdue, and receive a degree from either, depending on your course selection. But you are at the same campus, and a huge one in Indianapolis.

More than 44000 people crowd the urban campus each day.  The Department of Parking and Transportation Services issue 47,000 permits annually, write 40,000 citations, and supervise 60 lanes of parking controlling 21,000 spaces. Their revenue is $20mm.

The operation is run by Geary Robinson, Director of Parking and Transportation Services. He is unassuming, seemingly laid back, and a gentleman in a most Southern way. A PhD graduate of Clemson, he has run parking operation  in South Carolina, Arkansas, and Oklahoma as well as Indiana. With the first of the year, he is moving to Dallas and taking over parking operations for North Texas University.

Don’t let his quite manner and drawl fool you. He is sharp  and on top of his operation.  He noted that he uses the T2 cloud for his systems and said one of the largest benefits was the ability to process credit cards through the system, and keep them completely out of the university system.

“The University doesn’t want credit cards processed, or even run through their system,” he said. “The liability is something they don’t want to address. So wherever credit cards are taken, they require that the process be outside their IT department. In bookstores and cafeterias, the systems go through third party processors. Having the PCI compliant cloud based system puts us completely out of the University system and brings us within their requirements.  Its a great relief. both to the university and to parking.”

Here’s Geary (l) and his parking system’s coordinator, Doug Manning:

I was particularly impressed as to how fast the system ran, with almost instantaneous response to card dips or credit card transactions at POF machines. All of the parking activity, permits, citations, and daily cash collection is run through the cloud. “We access the information from our desktops, or from iPads or iPhones.  Our staff can open gates and get real time information from their iPhones in the field. We can give great customer service, right in the lanes.”

Robinson write his PhD thesis on disaster planning for public agencies like universities and municipalities. He is proud that upwards of 20 public agencies use his work as a basis for their disaster plans. Smart guy, Geary Robinson.



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