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From Acronym to Unified Identity

June 7, 2007

Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer David Lewis announces the renaming of Information Technology Services to University Information Technology (University IT). Several factors prompted the change from "Information Technology Services" and the often used acronym, "ITS." One of the most important of those was feedback from the University community that many colleagues "are confused about who we are and what we do; some even wondered if we are actually affiliated with the University. Our primary goal is to make IT simple to access and easy to use," says Lewis.

University IT has been aggressively rebuilding itself, moving from several separate organizational entities to a unified group with a community-centric approach that will help propel the University on its path to excellence. "We clearly understand where the University is going and we have great collegial partnerships as well as a clear organizational vision to support it," says Lewis.

"Including the word 'University' in the title provides obvious clarity of purpose for this group and it implies (correctly) that this group can serve anybody in the University," says Provost Charles E. Phelps. "University IT seeks to provide seamless, integrated, one-stop service for all IT-related needs—thus saying that it's one technology, versus many different ones, is deliberate," Phelps says. "So I think it's a great name change."

University Information Technology's strategic approach for the past two years has been to facilitate, lead, and coordinate technology integration that supports the University of Rochester's missions and enhances its overall profile and standing on all levels. Some University colleagues have noticed the positive changes even before the official name change. "Over the past year I've seen University IT become more closely aligned with the University's needs," says Helen Smith, Director of Technology and Music Production (Eastman). "It has become an easily accessible partner."

Lewis wants to continue to foster a collaborative and cohesive environment where the direction of University IT is governed by and coordinated with the entire University community. The name change helps to seal that commitment. "'Inclusive' is a word that comes to mind when I see 'University Information Technology,'" says Ovide Corriveau, Senior Operations Officer (College Operations, Dean's Office). "It defines the organization on several levels and unifies it in a very 'Meliora' way."

That's just the kind of response Lewis was hoping for: "We understand that University IT exists to support teaching and learning, research, patient care, performance, and community service," says Lewis. "To do so, we must embrace and adapt to change on a daily basis - and evolving our identity to the University community is one aspect of that ongoing commitment."