By Mark Cianca and Yvonne Tevis.
- Diversity and Inclusion Get the Spotlight
The UC IT community is focusing on diversity from all angles. A new “Diversifying the IT Culture” track boasted 16 sessions at our big annual UC Tech Conference. A systemwide group, UC Women in Technology, was formed and held its first webinar, “The First Woman Man: Gender labels and workplace expectations,” presented by UC Merced CIO Ann Kovalchick. Also, UC is committed to making sure its electronic environment is accessible to people with disabilities, and offers online accessibility training for everyone from procurement folks to designers to techies.
- Procurement Reaches the Cloud
Our Systemwide IT Procurement team achieved a significant milestone – once again. Last year they pulled together a suite of agreements for IT infrastructure products and services. This year they focused on the cloud, cutting deals with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. As cloud becomes king, lots of UC units, from small to large, have been signing up willy nilly with cloud services, with pricing and terms all over the map. These new deals enable UC to pull them under excellent negotiated pricing and terms that align them with UC policy and law. Most importantly, they provide the UC community easy access to modern cloud services for everything from research to student services.
- UC Health Is Wired
All five UC Health systems received the highest-level designation in the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives’ (CHIME) 2019 Most Wired survey. The award recognizes that UC Health is at the forefront of using IT to improve patient care. Health IT encompasses a broad range of initiatives, from establishing a shared enterprise imaging platform, to enabling patients to download medical records using their Apple smartphones, to considering the uses of AI in healthcare, to developing software that measures health outcomes in children with severe disabilities. Along with outstanding caregivers and researchers, Health IT is the bright promise UC makes its patients.
- UC Adopts Personalized Learning
The ability to analyze student data and use it to direct initiatives that improve the student experience is the wave of the future. And UC IT is right there. This year, UCSD rolled out a student activity hub combining student demographic, course, and learning data in one place to enable more comprehensive and precise analysis. Such insight will lead to programs that provide personalized learning environments, shorten time to degree, adapt the curriculum to demand, and much more.
- UC IT Community Continues to Coalesce
Once again we finish up with a shout out to the community of professionals that make up UC IT. This community gets stronger every day, coming together in a variety of ways – via Slack, via the blog, via myriad systemwide work groups – to share expertise and ideas and to work together as one distributed IT team across the entire University of California. This was manifested most clearly at the 2019 UC Tech conference at beautiful UC Santa Barbara. It was our community’s largest convening ever, with 732 attendees including 11 CIOs, 286 UC presenters, and 165 fantastic sessions. Go UC IT! Let’s see what you do at UCTech 2020 at UCLA!!
Mark Cianca is interim chief information officer, University of California System; and associate vice president, Operational Services, UC Office of the President.
Yvonne Tevis is UC IT Blog editor and chief of staff, Information Technology Services, UC Office of the President.