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Michael B. Cline, P.E., PTOE, Senior Vice President, Administrative Operations

May 18, 2022

This week’s guest is Michael B. Cline the Vice President, Administrative Operations which is a mouth full and had to have him help me with his title during the introduction. Michael is a professional engineer with decades of leadership and engineering experience in both the public and private sectors. We talk about the mind shift that happened upon his return to Purdue in 2013 around Planning and Construction by prioritizing customer care, innovation and management accountability, Cline ensures the organization delivers high quality services at the lowest possible cost.


Cline, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, returned to the University in July 2013 as the Vice President for Physical Facilities with responsibility for the design and construction of all university facilities, the operation and maintenance of existing buildings, and the Wade Utility Plant.


Since 2013, Cline’s role expanded to include capital programming, campus master planning, sustainability, real estate, procurement, environmental health and public safety, supplier diversity, parking, transportation, and Purdue’s airport. In this role, Cline manages 1,200 employees on the West Lafayette campus, a $250M capital program, and a $150M annual operating budget.


Current major capital projects underway include the $140M Dudley and Lambertus Halls for the College of Engineering and Purdue Polytechnic Institute, $22M Hagle Hall for bands and orchestra, $41M Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility, $73M High Speed Propulsion Lab and $52M Schleman Hall and Stewart Center Renovations for data science and student services .


From 2015 through its completion in December 2018, Cline played a pivotal leadership role in delivering the $120M State Street Redevelopment Project in an unprecedented ‘town-gown’ P3 or Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) with the City of West Lafayette. This project has sparked over $500M in private investment adjacent to Purdue’s campus since 2017. Cline was also instrumental in the completion of the 2018 Giant Leaps Master Plan for the West Lafayette campus—the launch of which coincided with the University’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary.


Prior to joining the University, Cline served as the Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) from 2010-2013, where he was entrusted with overseeing all aspects of one of the state’s largest agencies. He successfully led INDOT’s delivery of Governor Mitch Daniels’ $10B Major Moves infrastructure investment program, while reducing annual operating spending by $70M. Noteworthy projects completed under Cline’s leadership include the $700M I-69 project (sections 1-3) and the procurement of the Ohio River Bridges project, a unique $2.4B P3 with the Commonwealth of Kentucky.