Philip Long ’70 came to Yale as a freshman in 1966. Forty-four years later, he is ready to step down as chief information officer and director of Information Technology Services.

“I came to New Haven for school, and I never left,” he said. “I’m not saying goodbye [to Yale], I’m just moving to a different relationship,” he added, saying he plans to stay connected to the Yale community.

In the e-mail to faculty and staff last Thursday, Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Shauna King announced that Long will stay on until the end of the year, or until his replacement is found. A national search for his successor began recently, King said. Long has worked with technology at Yale since he graduated, and oversaw the implementation of the widespread use computers on the University’s campus.

“I started here in 10 ‘BE’:before e-mail,” Long said.

Long started in what was then the Yale Computer Center, in 1971. During his early years there, Yale could only use the Internet to communicate with other universities. Long helped start an email system for internal use at Yale in the early 1980s.

And that was just the beginning. Long helped build the first network within a residential college in Calhoun College whenit was renovated in 1989, and started the Student Technology Collaborative, the student-run technology support team that now operates out of Bass Library. More recently, he has worked on creating Yale’s course management system and and on puttingtechnology into Yale classrooms.

In the 1980s and early 1990s,Long said, Yale and other universities were helping to develop new information technology. But nowmost advances come from the wider world of industry,he said.

Long’s colleagues said what stood out most about him was his commitment to Yale.

ITS Deputy CIO Chris Kielt started working as the School of Management’s manager of computer services in 1987. He said that back then, when each school or department had its own computer setup, Long made sure to reach out to him and others to connect the various IT departments.

“Phil went out of his way to extend himself to create a community of IT professionals here at Yale,” he said.

Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer said Longtaught many members of the faculty how to use their first computers, and helped secure one of the first “Mac” computers for Yale.

Steve Girvin, deputy provost for science and technology, who has worked with Long for the past three years, said Long has worked hard to improve Yale’s growing computer infrastructure while dealing with a difficult financial climate.

As an undergraduate, Long was already interested in the emerging field of computer science.

Although there was no computer science department at Yale when he was a student, he took five courses in the field before graduating, King said in her e-mail.

He was also a member of the varsity swimming teamand represented the U.S. in the 1968 Olympic Games.

“He bleeds Yale blue,” said Chuck Powell, senior director for academic media andtechnology. “He has an absolute passion for doing right by Yale.”

After spending 40 years working at Yale, and 10 as the chief information officer, Long said his retirement was a personal choice, and that he is ready to do different things. He said he thought this was a good time for him to step down, since the department is relatively stable.

Long said higher education remains his passion, and he wants to continue helping universities make use of technology. He added that he has spent his career thinking about the role of computers and the Internet in shaping society.

Long graduated from Jonathan Edwards College in 1970 with a bachelor’s degreein psychology.