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Title:University of Illinois Year of Cyberinfrastructure Final Report
Author(s):Towns, John; Gerstenecker, David; Herriott, Laura; Hetrick, Ashley; Imker, Heidi J.; Larrison, Chris; Poole, Marshall Scott; Shaffer, Eric Gene; Smith, Tracy; Thompson, Chuck; Watson, Rob
Subject(s):University of Illinois
Year of Cyberinfrastructure
cyberinfrastructure
higher education
academia
technology
research
Abstract:The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a leader in computing and information technology (IT). Our leadership role has both produced and been produced by a culture of innovation. Many efforts have arisen over the years that have been the product of this culture. While the university’s commitment to developing digital infrastructure, resources, and support services has served campus researchers well, it has become clear that a more coherent and unified approach to assessing and addressing the IT services and support needs of campus researchers is imperative. With the support of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Chief Information Officer, we embarked on the Year of Cyberinfrastructure (Year of CI). Through this effort, we engaged researchers across disciplines to gain an understanding of the challenges they face in order to inform how we, as a campus, should move together to address these needs. We confirmed that researchers tend to assemble needed resources and services on their own, often out of necessity. While this practice has allowed those with the ambition or, more frequently, the absolute need, to advance their fields, it has primarily benefitted only those researchers and their collaborators. Providers of resources and services have brought value to the research process, but this value has been accrued in a largely disjointed manner that has tended to favor the power users of technology. The Year of CI effort has made clear that our research support landscape is not only lacking coherence but is also very uneven across academic and research units. To support modern research practices and to be competitive and preeminent in the academic community and the world, the 21st century research university must provide a foundation of research IT infrastructure and services that are accessible by all disciplines. Our campus needs a strong vision for how IT supports research, along with the ability to realize and evolve that vision in lockstep with the changing needs of the research community and the technologies available to meet those needs. Though Illinois faces significant financial challenges, it is time to be bold and make an investment to allow the university to emerge from these challenges as the premier destination for faculty, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, and research staff who seek to work in a world-class modern research environment. It is time to provide the infrastructure that will grow the campus research portfolio to new heights. The Year of CI has provided the initial assessment of the campus and indicates the steps we must take to develop the digital support ecosystem that will allow the campus to realize its vision of preeminence in research.
Issue Date:2015-10-12
Publisher:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Genre:Report (Grant or Annual)
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/88444
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-12-02


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