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IT subgroup of the 2020 S&T Taskforce


Members: John Bean, Don Brown, Suzanne Farnsworth, Robert Jones, Erik Hewlett, Kevin Sullivan, Tim Sigmon


Opportunities and importance of IT to UVA are obvious…

but how do we find Anita's "Unfair competitive advantage?"

Held one face-to-face meeting plus continuing on-line discussion.

Paths and precedents are NOT obvious and we are still a "brainstorming" mode.

Have begun to organize our discussions into the following categories:




1) Infrastructure

2) Opportunity Tracking - info on grant and collaborative possibilities …

3) Marketing ourselves, our work and our product via IT to those outside UVA

4) Capture - recording "best" of UVA for use and reuse

5) Delivery of services to our "customers" (students, colleagues, patients)









Obvious: Continuing growth of computational resources, networks

centralized expertise / training / support…


Already on the agenda / part of the ITC … requires 2020 input only if our ideas go "out of the box" (see below)

Opportunity: Can an OUTSTANDING infrastructure, itself, be a driver?

"The wireless campus?"

Wake Forrest's program of laptops w/ upgrade to every student?






"Community of Science" is golden to the health sciences

    • Grant opportunities fed to investigators automatically
    • Internal / External directory of experts and would-be collaborators
    • Even designing custom version for internal use

Sounds great but it has not been picked up by rest of S&T. Why?

Ignorance ?

Inappropriate to physical sciences / ENG and need something better?






Surveys play a central role in our recruiting of undergrad and grad students

Those surveys are often based on minimal knowledge ("I know one good person at that school so I'll rank them highly")

The World Wide Web has probably become the 1st or 2nd most important factor in recruiting out-of-state and international students

For surveys and recruiting: A little bit of IT marketing can go a LONG WAY

UNFAIR ADVANTAGE: Standard of Web information is low - still easy to beat the competition

May already have marketable material (… if we can figure out what it is)

    • Freely offer examples of our best (see CAPTURE task, below)

Clips or materials from the most popular S&T courses

Free / on-line intro courses? (plant the hook deeply)

Research highlights

    • Design UVA search engines to report back on what people are trying to find or what type of websites people spend most time at … and apply resources thereto
    • Build enhanced UVA search engines for which faculty could enter profiles and keywords to help outsiders find best and latest efforts




The "Best of UVA" for marketing AND for broader internal dissemination

Great lecturer? Get it on tape so a lesser successor can teach a better course

Great result / speaker / idea? Let the world know


Small but important idea: on-line "UVA this week" calendar

What we decide to capture depends largely on our "Delivery" priorities



Distance Learning

    • Virginia's population is increasingly in the DC suburbs - UVA is not!
    • Virginia Tech, George Mason … are active in N.Va - UVA is not!
    • Our absence is well known and bears an increasing political price


Collaborations with "Sister" educational institutions to supplement their programs

EXAMPLE: George Mason is light on hard engineering courses but wants to offer full degree program.

Workplace Education: Earning a degree on the jobsite

May be only palatable way for many to earn a degree (or the next one)

Can be important job recruiting / retention carrot for industry ($ for us)

EXAMPLE: George Mason "Prince William Campus" and NOVA site located across the street from large Lockheed-Martin & Dominion Semiconductor Plants

Home-based business person / primary care provider

Growing, but largely ignored, professional population

Sharply limited time and mobility

Focused S&T educational needs - specific courses not degrees?

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD: The (not-quite) Free University

Completely online and / or televised degrees

A degree for every Virginian - right in their living room

Crazy? Yes

    • But someone is going to do it !
    • Might we want to be the leaders and visionaries (rather than the roadkill)?

Who develops the "broadcast" infrastructure and format ?

Do we, as educators develop means or do we partner with, or follow the lead of, commercial entities?

Internet Service Providers (AT&T? AOL? IBM? …)

Major content producers

e-Publishers (when they come into being)?

Disney? The Learning Channel?

How do we derive or apportion support for the university?

How would we differentiate and enhance the surviving (?) on-campus degree program?




The Global Online Scientific Databank (the journal-less society)

Telemedicine or other distance means of delivering our non-teaching services

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