University Senate talks tech with CSSD

By Emily Migdal / Staff Writer

The University Senate Computer Usage Committee met Friday to begin planning for technology improvements in Pitt’s five-year strategic plan.

Eight committee members and two members of the Office of Computing Services and Systems Development met in Room 717 of the Cathedral of Learning at 10 a.m. to discuss preliminary ideas on how to incorporate technology into the plan, according to Co-Chair Alex Jones. The meeting was an executive session, making it closed to the public.

In the fall, the University announced its strategic plan, a list of initiatives for the school to focus on over the next five years. The committee said it will use cloud services and mobile devices to promote the plan’s goals, including advancing educational excellence and engaging in impact research.

Jones declined to comment on the specifics of Pitt’s plan, but said each implementation will work to improve computer and digital resources.

According to Jones, CSSD representatives distributed and discussed a document outlining six key points related to the strategic plan, including cloud services, self-service, security, reliability and how to remain forward-thinking.

The committee plans to further the use and accessibility of technology, but it recognizes the importance of putting new security measures in place, according to the CSSD document.

Although no student representatives attended the meeting, CSSD Director Jinx Walton and Jones both stressed the importance of student feedback on the proposed policies, which they said they hope to get through student focus groups on technology.

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