Center for Information Technology Services

Dr. Murray's Accomplishments

Murray Leaves Online Legacy

By Chris Harrison,
Associate Director,
Public Affairs
The Catholic University of America

February 2002

The man who brought Catholic University into the "wired" age was celebrated at a January going-away party where university administrators, staff and faculty wished him well in his new high-tech endeavors.

Peter J. Murray, who served as CUA's chief information officer for the past six years, has taken a job at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he will serve as vice president of technology and chief information officer.

"Today is the day we congratulate Peter Murray," said the Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., President, addressing a large crowd of well-wishers in a reception at McMahon Hall. "While we're very happy for him and his family, we feel sadness at losing Peter, who made incredible strides while he was here. It's a great testimony to this man, who in a relatively short time, brought us into the modern technological age."

In 2000, Catholic University ranked 62nd in Yahoo! Internet Life magazine's list of the "100 Most Wired Universities" in the United States. This standing is largely thanks to Dr. Murray and the staff of the Center for Planning and Information Technology, which he directed.

From a position at the State University of New York at Albany, he came to CUA in 1992. After three years, he was promoted to chief information officer and in February 2000 was named vice provost for information technologies.

During his tenure, Dr. Murray revolutionized the delivery of computing and information services at Catholic University at a time when e-mail and Internet access became a necessity to compete in the academic marketplace.

Some of CUA's major technological advances made during Peter Murray's tenure included:

  • The "wiring" of campus with miles of fiber optic cable, providing e-mail and Internet access to every room in offices and residence halls.
  • The provision of up-to-date personal computers, software and high-speed Internet access to faculty and staff.
  • The creation of a campus Intranet, which allows for online communication within the campus community.
  • The establishment of online course tools, which give faculty the capability to provide instruction and course-related information via the Web.
  • The implementation of software that allows students to apply for admission and register for classes online.

Dr. Murray also brokered deals with computer makers that allow faculty and students to buy personal computers at discounts. And in 2001, he brought CUA into a consortium of universities and research institutions which share a super-fast Internet access line known as Internet2. The online connection offered by Internet2 is roughly 45,000 times faster than the typical modem connection.

"You've left your fingerprints on this institution," Father O'Connell said. "We're grateful to you, Peter."

Provost John Convey echoed the president's praise. "Peter Murray always had great leadership and vision," he said. "His management of projects and handling of issues in CPIT have always been first class."

Dr. Murray, who was joined at the going-away party by his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Abby, 10, Michael, 5 and Molly, 1, said his time at CUA had been invaluable.

"We've been so fortunate to be part of the Catholic University community," he said. "And I am looking forward to my new position at the University of Maryland."