Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 25, 2010

Information technology town halls set for February

A new IT Governance Model for U-M will be unveiled at town hall meetings in February. Chief Information Officer Laura Patterson will host the sessions.

The model is just one piece of a larger plan to change U-M’s approach to information technology at every level on campus. Other pieces of the plan include the IT Rationalization and Assessment Project. Patterson will share the latest details of the project, including plans to assess each campus unit’s IT infrastructure.

The town halls are scheduled for Feb. 2, 10 and 16. For more information, and to register to attend, go to www.its.umich.edu/nextgen/.

Patterson says she has heard from deans and other campus technology stakeholders about the need to strengthen the overall campus IT environment.

Among the feedback she has received is the perception that U-M has fallen behind some of its peer institutions in the adoption of critical technologies, such as high performance computer clusters and mobile computing solutions, and that the current highly distributed IT environment creates barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration.

Also, it is hoped these initiatives will contribute to maintaining U-M’s competitive edge in attracting and retaining the best faculty and researchers.  

The new governance model, along with the unit assessments to be conducted as part of the IT rationalization effort, will allow for a more strategic, data-driven decision-making process by deans and directors related to IT products, services, and infrastructure, Patterson says.  

“We have a vision that the university will employ technology and propel innovations in research, teaching and learning. This vision is ‘NextGen Michigan.’ I’m excited to share it with you at the town halls next month” she says.