Greetings, everyone! Last week I returned from a trip to several cities in India with U-M’s Development office. I met with Michigan alumni who are leaders in technology, entrepreneurship, social sciences, and other fields. It was an honor to represent all of you in the Michigan IT community while I met with our large and enthusiastic alumni family.
I was inspired to hear first-hand how much their connection with the university means to them, even when they are so far away from campus. I was greeted with the familiar “Go Blue!” when I wore Michigan gear in every city we visited. I heard from one alumnus who woke up during all hours of the night to cheer on our basketball and football teams. Most importantly, I heard recognition and appreciation for the importance of technology and all of the hard work and innovation by the Michigan IT community.
Our work in technology connects countless alumni, faculty, students, and staff studying, researching, and working abroad and at home in Ann Arbor. Working together as a Michigan IT community, we support the technology that fuels the U-M mission and Michigan spirit.
The following areas of focus are priorities for ITS and opportunities for all of us to address together as we create a more cohesive digital experience and enable enterprise-level innovations for the U-M community:
- Elevate the customer experience: Improve the way we serve the U-M campus by providing proactive, laser-focused customer service.
- Secure an open society: Appropriately protect institutional and personal data in an open academic environment, while enabling innovation.
- Support data-informed decision making: Support an empowered community of data consumers with on-demand, role-based access to enterprise data.
- Deliver intuitive research computing solutions: Support world-class research and teaching using frictionless interfaces to data and computation.
- Build a transformational network and systems: Build a world-class, transformation network and systems that exceed university demands.
Working together, the University of Michigan will be a leader in the appropriate use of technology among its peers and in the world. As an example of this connectedness, last month, College of Engineering IT staff partnered with staff from ITS’s Information Quest team to hold a “Data Summit.” The groups shared data initiatives, discussed technologies, and compared challenges and solutions to better understand each other’s needs and services. Also last month, visitors from 5 countries and 145 different institutions came to Ann Arbor to participate in the Higher Education Data Warehousing (hedw.org) 2019 conference, which featured an impressive number of presenters from U-M. It’s efforts like these that foster collaboration and strengthen relationships that will help us provide better customer service to our community.
I would love to hear stories of how IT groups have reached out to other schools, colleges, or administrative units with new, innovative ways to collaborate and work together. Please send me your stories or thoughts on how to make more of this happen in the future!
As always, I appreciate all that you do. Keep inspiring and make a positive difference.
Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan