Staff Appreciation Celebration

Statewide IT Conference 2013
Wrubel Commons
Cyberinfrastructure Building
IU Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana
October 29, 2013


Good afternoon.

I am delighted to welcome you to the Staff Appreciation Celebration, which, of course, is part of the Statewide IT Conference.

Because I had the pleasure of working closely with many of you over many years, and because I actually established this event a number of years ago, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome the members of IU’s talented information technology staff from across the state.

Information Technology at IU

As all of you are well aware, Information Technology has transformed higher education and, particularly, modern research universities like IU.

Today’s students expect data at their fingertips and support just an e-mail, text, or tweet away. Faculty across the university want access to the best possible IT infrastructure for use in teaching and research. And faculty and students want a wireless environment that will allow them to work virtually anywhere.

And this is what they have found at Indiana University for many years—thanks to your outstanding efforts.

During my tenure as vice president for information technology, I worked with an outstanding team of people—many of whom are here today—focused on the problem of building an IT infrastructure of the highest quality to support the university’s fundamental missions of education and research.

Over the last several years, we have built a number of facilities in support of that mission, including the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex on the IUPUI campus; the IU Data Center here at 10th and the Bypass in Bloomington, which houses our core IT infrastructure; the Innovation Center, which provides a home for IU’s Pervasive Technology Institute; and the facility in which we are gathered today, the Cyberinfrastructure Building. The CIB reflects IU’s status as a national IT leader, and it allows our Bloomington staff to collaborate more easily, share resources, and generate ideas.

These four buildings provide the infrastructure for talent, bringing together faculty, students, and staff members, who, together, create something quite remarkable in terms of advancing the university’s research efforts and in helping us attract private sector investment.

And, of course, as this gathering demonstrates, that talent is not found only in Bloomington and Indianapolis, it is found all around the state on our regional campuses, which are such a vital part of the fabric of Indiana University.

Congratulating Brad Wheeler

IU, of course, continues to be a leader in the uses and applications of information technology by virtue of the outstanding work in which all of you are engaged across the state, and by virtue of the excellent leadership of Brad Wheeler.

I am sure that most of you are aware that EDUCAUSE—the nonprofit association for IT leaders and professionals in higher education—recently bestowed its highest honor, the Leadership Award, to Brad.

The award was presented at the annual EDUCAUSE conference in Anaheim, California earlier this month, and it is on display here this afternoon. Brad very generously directed the $3,000 award to the IU Scholarship Fund.

I want to extend my congratulations to Brad on this well deserved honor.

Brad is, of course, a co-founder of the Sakai Project, the Kuali Foundation, the HathiTrust, the Digital Preservation Network and Net+ Services at Internet2. And, of course, he has been a leader in the development of open-source software in partnership with dozens of colleges, universities, and commercial partners. All of these projects truly have allowed institutions and commercial firms to collaborate in new and innovative ways.

Brad, of course, also spearheaded the innovative eTexts initiative, which has helped to transform the way students obtain and use digital course materials.

I have had the pleasure of working with Brad for a number of years. He has been a trusted advisor, and his excellent leadership and the wide-ranging partnerships and collaborations that he continues to facilitate will ensure that Indiana University will continue to be at the vanguard in information technology.

So, as I turn the podium over to Brad, I invite you all to join me in a hearty round of applause to congratulating him on receiving the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award.