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“IT@Illinois is dedicated to advancing research, education, and public service by making every potential contributor the center of an unbounded personal network of social and technical resources. Whatever information technology makes possible in scholarship and teaching should be available at Illinois, regardless of what disciplinary, institutional, or geographic boundaries must be crossed to make it so.”
-- Vision Statement adopted by IT@Illinois Steering Committee
Faculty have distinctive needs for IT support that go beyond desktop/workplace support. Their research, teaching, and service contributions differ by discipline, and by individual subject specialty within discipline. Their IT needs are thus quite heterogeneous. Some of these needs are met by resources that are broadly shared within the national cyberinfrastructure, others must be met by our campus cyberinfrastructure, and still others are met at the departmental or divisional level.
The purpose of IT@Illinois’ Faculty Engagement activity is to learn as much as possible about the research and teaching support needs of all faculty and to test the viability of providing highly personalized networks of support resources for each faculty member. The goal is not to look at individual services available to faculty, but to work outward from the faculty perspective to understand the complex networks of social and technical resources that must interoperate to support that person’s work.
This engagement activity will take place through a variety of methods:
- Individual interviews with faculty about their research and teaching goals and the layers of technology support needed to achieve these goals.
- Consultation on IT requirements for specific research projects or teaching initiatives from which unmet IT needs can be inferred.
- Participation in cross-institutional planning activities (such as Project Bamboo) aimed at building IT support for specific disciplines.
- On-campus workshops focused on specific disciplinary clusters such as digital arts or computational social science.
- On-campus symposia focused on significant technology trends such as cloud computing.
- Short-term working groups formed to develop components of a campus cyberinfrastructure master plan for support of all disciplines.
Faculty will also be engaged, along with other academic professionals, staff, and students, around general support needs, such as personal computing hardware and software and associated technical support. However, the Faculty Engagement activities themselves will focus on needs distinctive to faculty roles and to supporting faculty in executing the university’s missions.