computing being evaluated
With the use of computers becoming
more and more integral to research, a task force, convened last
fall, is evaluating how things are working and where the University
needs to boost support of information technology.
by Dr. Robert Reynolds, vice president and chief information officer,
and Vice President for Research and Public Service Gene Block,
the task force, chaired by biology professor W. Otto Friesen,
comprises more than 30 faculty and staff members and is divided
into three subgroups.
Computing Task Force
Review the current status of U.Va. support of research through
computing and IT
Examine the computing/IT resources provided at peer institutions
Illuminate the gaps and needs for additional support
Formulate specific short- and long-term recommendations
my administration in Information Technology and Communication,
I hope to enhance institutional support of research and pedagogy
through information technology," Dr. Reynolds said. "In
order to understand better the ways we are now supporting research
and teaching, it's necessary to conduct a University-wide assessment
based on input from faculty and students."
The task force is looking at how computers are being used for
all types of research, from lab work to humanities scholarship,
and what is being done that couldn't be done without the use of
technology. The task force subgroups are interested in how researchers
use the complete continuum of scale, from laptops to mainframes,
Friesen said. They also want to know how departments in ITC are
most helpful -- providing services such as virus protection software
and technical support, for example.
task force hopes to pinpoint where more help is needed, in terms
of funds and personnel, in order to figure out how to allocate
existing resources and see where the University needs more support.
The sub-groups have held forums around Grounds to solicit input
and are expanding their efforts to reach as many people as possible
by setting up a feedback form on the task force Web site (http://www.itc.virginia.edu/rctf).
Their deadline for submitting final reports with recommendations
is March 5, so that their work can be used in the University's
are now at a crucial stage in our efforts to gather information
from faculty and students and formulating a compendium of our
needs for more effectively furthering research that requires or
is facilitated by the use of computers," Friesen said. "We
need to make faculty, staff and students across Grounds aware
of this important effort so that they can provide the broad input
that will be critical in the assessment of our needs for computer
hardware, software, staff support and infrastructure to enhance
our academic research."
findings of subgroups