Campus leaders have been working with Laura Patterson, U-M’s chief information officer, to develop a shared vision of the future direction of information technology on our campuses. The goal is to ensure the university’s approach to IT supports the strategic direction of the institution’s global mission.

Michigan is at a turning point and it is important for the campus community to have a clear understanding of the ways the academy is moving to the next generation of technologies and IT delivery models.

Moreover, it is essential that schools, colleges and administrative units, and faculty and staff have multiple and ongoing engagement opportunities for sharing their thoughts, so IT services can meet department-unique and individual-specific needs. Look for these opportunities in the coming months.

Additionally, this monthly series on information technology will feature services, projects, and ideas that are playing a role in the delivery of world-class computing and digital resources to all of our campuses.

From governance to planning, and from initiatives to opportunities, your part in this process is central. What’s on your mind? Share your thoughts with the CIO at

Michigan IT Symposium

Michigan IT refers to the universitywide community of IT professionals in schools and colleges, libraries, research institutes, the health system, technology offices, and administrative units. Today, many IT departments are autonomous and only work tangentially with each other across the university.

The evolution of Michigan IT is intended to leverage the collective benefit of the entire U-M IT community to help the institution achieve its global mission. With CIO Patterson as the sponsor, the Michigan IT Working Group is being led by Ted Hanss, Medical School CIO, and David Sweetman, director of LSA IT.

The community’s inaugural Michigan IT Symposium will be Nov. 25 at the North Campus Research Complex. This one-day event will highlight the expertise, innovation, and personality of IT professionals across U-M.

Applications are being accepted for poster and formal presentations. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit exciting projects, new systems and services launched, or process improvements recently made. Personal-interest submissions are also welcome from hobbyists.

The Call for Participation is open until Sept. 24. Learn more about the Michigan IT Symposium or complete a brief presenter application at


U-M is working to transform IT services across campus and enhance the technology environment while making it more efficient. An initial area of focus has been the development of an IT support model and service, called MiWorkspace.

MiWorkspace supports common IT needs such as desktop support, file storage, information security, network connectivity, and printing, and unites and provides additional resources such as common issue tracking and back-up support for IT professionals who do this work across U-M campuses.

Central administrative units began to use MiWorkspace in 2012, and academic units — the School of Education, University Libraries, and a department in LSA — piloted the service this spring and summer. More than 10,000 staff and faculty use the service today. Early adopters this fall include the Stamps School of Art & Design and the School of Kinesiology.

The move to MiWorkspace is customized for each unit and is driven by the unique needs of faculty, staff and students in each school and college. Academic units determine how to best engage with their faculty to advise the process, and MiWorkspace team members meet individually with faculty and researchers to understand their computing needs. Faculty and staff may opt to have administrator access of their computers.

A new steering committee comprising faculty and academic administrators will provide additional advisement on the service, including plans to support personally owned devices. More information is available at