Science and Technology Commission
February 15, 2000
Ms. Jones opened the meeting by reviewing a preliminary Commission Report to be
delivered to The Board of Visitors on February 15. After some discussion of this report,
Kevin Sullivan and Donald Brown presented a business plan detailing a University-wide
Computing and Information Science initiative.
Computing and Information Science and Engineering Business Plan
In their report, Kevin Sullivan and Donald Brown stressed the great value that a
world-class teaching and research program in Computing and Information Science and
Engineering (CISE) has for the future of the University. Sullivan noted that CISE already
cuts across all disciplines of the University (i.e., the sciences, the humanities and the
professional schools) and that its integration into the various disciplines will only
increase over time. As an example, Sullivan pointed to the Universitys Institute for
Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), which has helped to develop a critical new
dimension in humanities studies.
According to Sullivan and Brown, the success of a multi-disciplinary program
such as IATH or medical informatics depends in part upon a strong CISE core. This
synergistic relationship with other disciplines in the University, Brown asserted, is also
beneficial to CISE research and education. Helping to meet the teaching and research needs
of other disciplines leads to an increase in the knowledge base of CISE fields.
Sullivan and Brown also strongly emphasized that the importance of CISE reaches far
beyond the walls of the University. A strong CISE presence at the University would have a
range of economic and social benefits both for the commonwealth of Virginia and for the
national community. Sullivan pointed to the Milken Report (1999) which identifies the
presence of an outstanding research institution as the single most important factor needed
for a robust hi-technology economy. Similarly, Sullivan asserted, national security and
prosperity increasingly depend on our nations leadership in CISE areas. Sullivan
also listed a number of potential social benefits that could be brought about via the
presence of a world-class CISE program at the University. These include the end of
isolation for the elderly, global eco-monitoring and stewardship and the continued
democratization of knowledge via digital libraries and distance learning.