I hope everyone is off to a strong and healthy start to the new year. The past several weeks have presented us with significant change, and I am grateful to Dr. Mary Sue Coleman for serving as president and prioritizing the important work of rebuilding trust during this challenging time.
As a Michigan IT community and as individuals, we all play an important role in ensuring that each member of the community can thrive in a safe, welcoming, supportive environment. Each one of you brings a special piece of the success for our community, and we all contribute to our future. The positive impact we have on faculty, staff, students, our nearby community and around the world is a unique and rewarding aspect of working in the technology field at Michigan.
I hope everyone had an opportunity to watch the MLK Symposium events and the keynote lecture. If not, I encourage you to take time to watch the recording. Diversity is our strength. Inclusive culture is what drives all of us. I attended a watch party hosted by the ITS DEI Education & Scholarship Subcommittee. I appreciated the group’s willingness to share personal reactions and experiences during the discussion that followed.
These moments where we come together at the same table and learn from each other are so important. At the same time, we cannot learn from people who are not at the table. How do we invite more people to the table for these discussions? Or perhaps more importantly, how do we bring more of these discussions to the tables you already sit at?
My challenge for you this year is to expand the reach of our Michigan IT community. Seek out opportunities to not only get involved yourself but to bring colleagues and others along. What new insights can we gain — in technology topics and other areas of personal interest — by making a point to hear and learn from others with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and roles? And, how can we maintain a positive and supportive environment for all? I love hearing your ideas.
I enjoyed watching this video of some of U-M’s class of 2026 early acceptance students celebrating becoming a Wolverine, so I wanted to share it with all of you. It took me back to the time when my son was accepted into his undergraduate program. These are always special family moments. I would love to hear what went through your mind when you watched this video.
New opportunities for us to grow individually and as a community are arising all of the time, and I am excited to see what 2022 has in store for us. I know that working together, great days are ahead of us.
Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan