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Larry MacIntyre
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009

McRobbie elected to Internet2 board

Consortium connects more than 50,000 research, educational institutions; IU contingent includes two with IT backgrounds on advisory panels

March 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Internet2, the foremost advanced networking consortium in the United States.

McRobbie, who came to IU in 1997 as vice president for information technology and chief information officer, joins a group of leaders from academia, research and industry charged with providing strategic guidance, directing the setting of priorities, and ensuring that Internet2 continues to meet the needs of the research and education community.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

Appointed to the additional role of Vice President for Research in 2002, and then as Interim Provost for IU Bloomington in 2006, McRobbie became IU's 18th President on July 1, 2007.

"Building on his leadership at Indiana University, President McRobbie is in a unique position to help guide Internet2 into the next generation," said Internet2 Board of Trustees Chairman Jeffrey Lehman. "His experience, knowledge of information technology and strong commitment to the advancement of the research and academic community make him especially well qualified to help us move forward in the development of next-generation Internet technologies."

Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. The consortium brings the U.S. research and academic community together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community to undertake collaborative efforts that have a fundamental impact on tomorrow's Internet. Internet2's high speed, next-generation network currently connects more than 50,000 research and education institutions in the U.S.

"It is an honor to be able to serve again and contribute to the growth and development of advanced computer networking, which has proved to be an essential element to many of the leading research enterprises all around the globe," McRobbie said. "I am especially pleased that Indiana University will continue to play a key role in the operation and management of the Internet2 network."

Since coming to Indiana University, McRobbie has led an extensive transformation in information technology that has included creation of University Information Technology Services to support the academic and administrative work and directing development of I-Light, an integrated, high-speed optical fiber network that links IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Purdue University.

He founded IU's Pervasive Technology Laboratories, funded in 1999 by a $30 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, and helped the university reach a deal with IBM to acquire one of the world's 20 most powerful supercomputers, ensuring IU's continued leadership in national research initiatives such as the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid. In 2004, he was named to Computerworld magazine's list of "Premier 100 IT Leaders," which honors the top information technology strategists in the United States.

McRobbie already has a successful relationship with Internet2. He initiated IU's involvement and management of Internet2's original network and has served as a member of the Internet2 International Relations Committee.

"The Internet2 community is pleased to welcome President McRobbie as a new member of the Board of Trustees," Lehman added. "We look forward to working with him as he provides extremely valuable leadership in this new role."

In addition to McRobbie's election, two other representatives from IU will sit on Internet2 advisory councils, including IU Associate Vice President for Networks David E. Jent, who was re-elected to the Architecture and Operations Advisory Council. Joining Jent will be first-time advisory council member Jim Williams, Director of International Networking and Global Research Network Operations Center Service Desk at IU. Williams was elected to the External Relations Advisory Council.

Jent is an expert in fiber optic network design and management who helped shape I-Light and was instrumental in leading IU's Global Research Network Operations Center engineering team, which operates more than 10 state, national and international research and education networks.

Williams is principal investigator on an NSFoundation award to provide network access to Asia and, as director of the IU Global NOC Service Desk, provides both engineering and service desk functions for the Internet2 network and a number of other domestic and international networks.