BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – In 1997, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, then IU’s first vice president for information technology, established University Information Technology Services to “provide more effective and efficient” IT services for all campuses and to “enable the university’s goal of being a national leader in the uses and applications of IT.”
UITS was formed to help faculty, staff and students harness and accelerate the possibilities of an increasingly connected world at the time when a burgeoning Internet signaled many profound changes for research and education.
Fast forward 20 years, and UITS is now beginning its third decade with its annual Statewide IT Conference focused on “In the Age of the Smart Machine” and the accelerating wave of applied artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The conference will again gather nearly 1,000 colleagues from IU’s seven campuses to exchange information about the latest in technology, university initiatives and developments in the field. Attendees will hear from IT leaders during the opening keynotes, learn from breakout session topics and get the chance to network with colleagues.
By drawing on the theme of “The Smart Machine,” attendees will hear from two leading voices to interpret how increasingly capable devices will affect our lives and security. Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff and computer security expert Dan Geer will kick off the conference with keynote speeches that are free and open to the public. The keynotes will take place at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 in IU Auditorium.
Geer is an expert in computer security and risk management, with extensive experience in clinical and research medical computing. He serves in advisory roles for the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the White House and In-Q-Tel’s counterparties.
20 years of UITS
This year’s conference is especially noteworthy because UITS is celebrating its 20th anniversary. UITS is now nationally known as one of the nation’s largest, broadest and most influential university IT organizations in its service to all campuses of Indiana University, the state and the nation.
“When I first arrived at Indiana University 20 years ago, then President Myles Brand clearly expressed to me IU’s vision for the university to ‘become a leader, in absolute terms, in the use and applications of information technology,’” McRobbie said. “The crucial first step towards achieving this goal was to form University Information Technology Services to unify nearly all of IU’s extensive but uncoordinated IT resources.
“Today, UITS is without peer in higher education in the U.S. Widely admired and imitated, it provides the nation’s best IT services and infrastructure to all IU students, faculty and staff, and it ensures that IT both supports and strengthens IU’s core mission of excellence in education, research and engagement.”
Brad Wheeler, vice president for IT and chief information officer since 2007, added, “For over 20 years, the entire IU IT community has adapted to the unending opportunities and challenges of the skillful uses of IT. From part-time students in our 24-hour support center to our most specialized expertise in supercomputing and high-speed networks, it is the talent and passion of the staff that fuel the services and innovation of a constantly evolving organization.”
UITS is now home to over 1,000 IT professionals on all campuses and partners closely with IT professionals in all IU schools and departments.