You’re not seeing things, your office phone may look different after summer break

While some faculty and staff may have been out of the office for a portion of the summer, a project to replace nearly 13,000 telephones on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus didn’t take a break.

Purdue’s 1990s phone system is being replaced with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones that run on the University’s data network rather than a separate telephone network. Individuals who have been away may notice a new phone on their desks when they return. They also should see a quick reference pamphlet designed to assist people in setting up their new phone, including creating new PIN numbers and greetings. The quick reference also is available online here.

People also may notice that the network cable for their office computer now plugs into their phone. The VoIP phones are network devices and act as a pass-through to connect both the phone and computer to the office’s network port. Individuals shouldn’t unplug their computer’s network cable from the phone.

About a third of the new phones have been installed so far. The project website contains a schedule of the installation locations, an FAQ about the project and links to training videos. Information also is available in Purdue’s GoldAnswers knowledge base.

For answers to questions about the VoIP phone replacements, email

The new VoIP phones offer a variety of advantages for faculty and staff, including the ability to take calls on a mobile device and to forward voice mails via email. The switch also makes it easier to get phones moved when moving to a different office. No paperwork required. Just plug the phone into a network port at the new location.

Other features that may benefit faculty and staff include:

  • Self-service web portals to set up phone and voice mail options.
  • Audio, web and video conferencing services if desired.
  • Enhancements that should allow faster recognition, troubleshooting and resolution of issues.
  • Automated emergency location tracking, giving 911 operators precise locations.

The upgrade project, headed by ITaP and partner Presidio, replaces the University’s 20-year old-phone system, which is long overdue for an upgrade, and will leave Purdue with a single, more efficient data and telecommunications network. Phones are being replaced and necessary infrastructure work accomplished building by building on a rolling schedule with Dec. 31, 2018, the deadline for completion.

When campus phones have needed replacing in recent years, ITaP has replaced them with VoIP phones. The all-campus project comes as part of a major upgrade to Purdue’s network to make it more robust, responsive and secure – now and in the future – and to enhance wireless access on campus.

Writer: Greg Kline, IT communications manager, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8167 (office), 765-426-8545 (mobile),

Last updated: August 1, 2018