Letter from the VPIT/CIO

image of Michael KubitSince joining The Pennsylvania State University in January of 2017 as its first vice president for information technology and chief information officer (VPIT/CIO), I’ve experienced the Penn State community’s incredible passion for, and dedication to, this great University. It comes through in the teaching and learning in the classes I have sat in on, in the vibrancy at every one of our campuses, in the strength and size of the alumni community, and in the camaraderie and pride shared by more than 100,000 fans in Beaver Stadium.

I’ve met students who have had the opportunity to attend any university of their choice but have chosen the large public university experience Penn State offers. I have also met students who are the first in their families to attend university, who live at home, work part-time, and are doing everything they can to build a future for themselves. I’ve met veterans who have served our country and are now pursuing their education. I’ve met adult learners who are completing their education or preparing for a career change.

I’ve spent time with brilliant faculty with a passion for teaching. I have visited the labs and facilities where incredible research is being conducted with the potential to change the world. I’ve met staff who love our University and are dedicated to its success. I have the privilege of working alongside the talented, gifted leaders of this University who are all dedicated to fulfilling our mission.

Each of those experiences, along with the conversations, engagements, and meetings I have had since January 2017, have helped inform the path we are now embarking on to advance a University-wide IT transformation. This transformation has been at the forefront of my objectives as VPIT/CIO.

It is fundamentally important to remember IT is, first and foremost, all about people.

It is fundamentally important to remember IT is, first and foremost, all about people. It is imperative that Penn State IT becomes a thought leader in this space and utilizes technologies in ways other universities are not. Thinking about this singular concept is what makes me excited to get up and get to work every day: How do we position IT as a strategic enabler of the University’s mission? How can we leverage IT to help the University attract faculty and students more effectively than it has in the past by enabling services that are more directly relevant to their needs?

Over the past several months, I have had the pleasure of working with fifteen outstanding information technology leaders from across the University to reimagine IT at Penn State. Their work forms the basis for the Reimagining IT plan, which is presented in the following seven sections:

There is tremendous unrealized potential within the IT community at Penn State. We plan to maximize that potential and lead IT to be the best it can be while building on our current strengths and addressing areas for improvement. We have spent a good deal of time studying prior organizational changes with the goal of learning from those who have gone before us in leading institutional change.

We believe this plan will unleash our potential and propel Penn State to new levels of success and look forward to working with the University community to further strengthen this institution.

Michael Kubit Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
The Pennsylvania State University

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