Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | November 5, 2020

Greetings, everyone.

I hope you were able to get some rest this past week between the election, anticipation of results, and reflecting on what the outcome means to you or your loved ones. I carry a strong sense of optimism for our future and I am hopeful that our country will come together post-election. I am grateful for the compassion, teamwork, and resiliency I see displayed across our Michigan IT community on an ongoing basis. 

Next week, our community will come together virtually for the Michigan IT Symposium, which is an excellent opportunity to hear and learn from so many of our IT colleagues. I am looking forward to hosting Zoom CEO Eric Yuan for a fireside chat on Wed., Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. and learning more about how Zoom has adapted to the organization’s tremendous growth, lessons learned from their journey, and more. Please visit the Michigan IT Symposium website to learn more and register for this and the many other amazing sessions at this year’s symposium. Please also help spread the news to others in your unit, within the Michigan IT community or beyond. 

I know that many IT colleagues have long histories at the university, so you may be interested to know that this past month, at long last, the university decommissioned the CTools servers. When U-M took a leading role in the Sakai Project, a venture to create open-source course management tools back in 2004, we could not have known the impact that would have through the next decade. As we look back on all that has happened over the past 16 years, how the technology landscape has evolved, and everyone we have worked with, innovated with, and supported over that time, it is truly remarkable. Thank you to everyone who has partnered with ITS on this change, and thank you to everyone who continues to partner with ITS on changes to come (such as the upcoming retirements of BlueJeans and Box). 

Finally, I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of mental health and self care. The pandemic, the blending of our work and home lives, and our political landscape are all contributing to an increasingly stressful time. Stay tuned to your own needs and pause when you need to, take a deep breath, or take a short walk–and know that you are not alone. 

Check in on a colleague, a neighbor, or a friend you may not have talked in a while. A simple hello can make a huge difference. If I can assist in any way, please reach out. I would love to hear from you.



Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan