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IT staff gathering focuses on student success

More than 1000 attendees networked and shared ideas at the 2022 Statewide IT Conference.

News and events Apr 18, 2022

With a focus on helping students succeed, IU’s IT professionals met on the IU Bloomington campus for the 26th annual Statewide IT Conference April 11–13. Attendees met in person for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic.

Rob Lowden, vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer for IU, welcomed some 600 in-person attendees to the conference. Almost 500 joined the event virtually. “We work together to support student success and the IU mission,” he said, offering examples to underscore the significant role of IT at IU.

More than 31 million Duo authentications kept IU’s data safe in 2021. The Support Center was contacted almost 223,000 times, and more than 378,000 appointments were scheduled in the Student Appointment Scheduler app. Also in 2021, 30 percent of high-performance computing clients were undergraduate students and nearly two-thirds of students used iGPS to actively chart their paths to graduation.

In recorded remarks, IU President Pamela Whitten echoed Lowden in emphasizing the importance of IT in helping students succeed. “This gathering underscores the fact that we live in a digital age,” Whitten said. She praised UITS for providing the tools, training, and consulting that enable faculty to provide an outstanding education, for protecting student information, and for maintaining a robust secure infrastructure.

Your tireless efforts allowed teaching to continue during the pandemic in the spring of 2020 and the shift to a hybrid model in the fall of last year. Your work over the last two years has been stellar and highly appreciated.

IU President Pamela Whitten

Keynote speaker Dave O’Guinn, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at IU Bloomington, serves as the campus’s chief advocate for students. Tech empowers the student experience, he said, and helps them with some of their biggest challenges like mental health, sexual misconduct, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“Tech helps keep students enrolled and studying at IU,” O’Guinn said. The Be Involved software helps first-year students get involved on campus and track their engagement for which they can earn awards. The WellTrack app helps support students’ mental health, the RAVE Guardian app helps keep them safe, and accommodation technology helps students with disabilities.

IU CIO Rob Lowden moderates a Q&A with Dave O'Guinn, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at IU Bloomington.

IU CIO Rob Lowden moderates a Q&A with Dave O’Guinn, vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at IU Bloomington.

Above all, IU technology helps students do their work and enjoy campus life. Among favorite apps mentioned by student leaders in a video O’Guinn showed were Duo, Canvas, IU Mobile, CrimsonCard, and IUanyWare.

Following O’Guinn’s keynote address, participants enjoyed Tech Expo exhibits and a panel about using technology and data to support student success. Then participants made their way to the Indiana Memorial Union. In all, there were 48 in-person, hybrid and virtual breakout sessions in addition to 21 preconference sessions offered on April 11. Some 300 attended a staff appreciation reception at the Cyberinfrastructure Building.

Attendees are happy to gather in person at the conference Tech Expo.

Attendees are happy to gather in person at the conference Tech Expo.

As the conference drew to a close, winners of the IT Leadership Community Technologist Recognition Awards were announced:

  • Justin Robinson, Promise of the Future Award 
  • Michele Kelmer, Spirit of Leadership Award 
  • Emily Oakes, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Award 
  • IT Leadership Boot Camp Planning Action Team, IT Leadership Team Collaboration Award 

In his closing remarks, Lowden thanked the conference sponsors for completely funding the conference ensuring that no university funds were used for it. Lowden praised IU’s IT professionals for their commitment to student success, showing a video highlighting the OmniSOC internship program as one example.

“We need a ‘why’ for our work, and students provide a compelling reason for why we work at IU,” Lowden said. Echoing President Whitten’s mantra to keep students at the center of the IU universe, Lowden has pledged to keep students at the center of IU’s IT universe.

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