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Julie Wernert
University Information Technology Services

Last modified: Monday, May 19, 2008

IU marks 10-year IT plan anniversary, embarks on next visionary IT plan

IU celebrates 10 years of IT successes with May 20 event -- "Celebrating the Progress, Continuing the Journey" -- as it launches a second IT strategic planning process

May 19, 2008

EDITORS: At the intersection of the 10-year anniversary of the 1998 Information Technology Strategic Plan and the launch of the 2008 plan, a May 20 celebration on the Bloomington campus will honor the achievements of the many IU staff and faculty who contributed to the realization of IU's original goals for IT. Speakers will include IU President Michael McRobbie, Vice President Brad Wheeler and IUPUI Chancellor Emeritus Gerald Bepko. The celebration will also energize the start of the next planning process. The celebration is set for 3:30 pm at the Ruth N. Halls Theatre at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 North Jordan Avenue. See .

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In 1998, Indiana University set out with a bold plan to make IU a "leader in absolute terms in the use and application of IT." On May 20, hundreds will gather as the university commemorates its rise in national and international areas of IT, and formally announces progress on its next 2008 IT Strategic Plan.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

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In 1997, then-IU president Myles Brand charged Michael McRobbie, the university's first vice president for information technology, with developing a plan for IT that could make IU a leader in "absolute terms." McRobbie chartered a university-wide planning effort that yielded 10 General Recommendations and 68 specific Action Items. The 1998 IT Strategic Plan steered Indiana University's investment in advanced research networks, including the State of Indiana's I-Light, research computing systems like Big Red, re-engineered common information systems across the university to enable better integration and pioneering development in the digital library and new areas like cybersecurity. It was a far-reaching, ambitious plan for all IU campuses.

Now president of Indiana University, Michael McRobbie credits the strategic plan with enabling IU to compete in this century. "IT is essential to the teaching, learning, and research activities of a 21st-century university, providing faculty and students the tools necessary to achieve their highest intellectual aspirations. The 1998 IT Strategic Plan has advanced IU's fundamental missions by marshalling IU's scale in the interest of its educational, research and technology needs in cost-saving and far-sighted ways that greatly benefit IU faculty, students and staff."

Wheeler image

Photo by: Ann Schertz

Brad Wheeler

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Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer said, "The 1998 IT Strategic Plan and its relentless execution were profoundly transformative for IU. IU's plan remains a template for other universities that seek to develop a university plan for IT, rather than an IT plan for the university."

According to IUPUI Chancellor Emeritus Gerald L. Bepko, "IU showed the larger world, beyond the academy, that large scale, concrete change can take place in large universities. IU showed that it could develop an ambitious plan with scores of goals and execute on the plan just as well as any business organization."

The plan rationalized lifecycle funding to modernize and renew PCs, servers, and other equipment on a regular basis. It led to university-wide licensing agreements for commonly used software from Microsoft and others. These approaches saved millions of dollars and greatly increased the availability of IT to faculty, staff and students.

The plan upgraded IU's classrooms and research computing facilities. It provided the basis for many of IU's wins of competitive funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and gifts from the Lilly Endowment.

"This plan, that we celebrate today, has had an enormous impact on Indiana University. I think it's fair to say, as others have commented, that it has achieved the vision of making Indiana University a leader in absolute terms in the field of Information Technology. In my judgment it has also facilitated the growth and development of those small cultures of learning, research, discovery and imagination that are located all through the University. In my experience, the entire effort has been one of enabling through the tangible benefits of more complete and powerful information technology applications, and ennobling through the stature it has brought to IU as a leader in yet another important field," said Bepko.

President McRobbie has called for a new IT plan that will "build excellence in education and research in all disciplines, in administration, in IU's engagement in the life of the State, across all campuses, and in collaboration with IU's key partners such as Clarian Health and institutions of higher education in the State."

Vice President for IT Brad Wheeler has launched a new planning effort that includes 140 faculty, staff and students, who are charged with developing a plan that is "visionary, realistic and relevant to the missions of IU campuses." The University Information Technology Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Dr. Frank Acito, associate dean of the Kelley School of Business, will develop the new plan through the work of four role-based taskforces.

Speaking of the next IT strategic plan, Wheeler says: "It should enable revolutionary outcomes via evolutionary steps and -- building on the architecture set down by the original plan -- it will focus on accelerating the human-centered use and application of IT. The four taskforces are focusing on empowering faculty excellence, student success, community effectiveness of working together and engagement beyond the physical boundaries of IU with the state, nation and world."