We are embarking upon a new year with more strength, creativity, and flexibility than ever before. Over the past year, we have learned incredibly valuable lessons about each other, working remotely, and the people who make up this amazing institution.
I am hopeful that later this year we may be able to gather together once again to collaborate and explore possibilities that touch many lives in meaningful ways—one user-centric, inclusive technology at time. Throughout the pandemic and when working remote, our best work is done together with our vibrant diversity in the forefront. It is through honoring our diversity that we are unified as one community.
Join us in celebration and appreciation of Black History Month on Twitter at @umichTECH. Each week we will feature Black Americans, some hailing from U-M, and their meaningful and lasting contributions to technology. Our world would be less without these influential Black men and women and all of the countless individuals who were inspired by them to accomplish their dreams in this field. There is so much we can learn from these leaders.
There is also so much we can learn from each other. One great opportunity to do this is the upcoming Michigan IT Mentor Program. The program is an excellent opportunity for all IT staff across the university to learn and grow with one another—either as a mentor or mentee. The program matches mentors with mentees in one-on-one and small group settings for a four-month period to work on professional development goals, build relationships, and expand knowledge of U-M’s IT community. I was blessed to have incredible mentors in my life and their guidance shaped who I am today. Do please consider participating this year and make positive connection and personal growth a priority.
I’m also pleased to share that on Data Privacy Day 2021, ITS’s Information Assurance group officially launched ViziBLUE, a website for students to find out what personal data the University of Michigan collects about them and how that data is used. We are committed to continue expanding ViziBLUE and raising privacy awareness among our student community. This is a great step forward for our students, with great thanks to the expertise and collaboration of the Office of the Registrar, Enrollment Management, University Library, Student Life, and ITS.
I am grateful for every member of this great community. Thank you for all of your efforts. Please reach out if you have any questions, ideas, or areas where I can be of assistance. I would love to hear from you.
Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan