New trustee committee will focus on technology
At its final meeting of the past academic year in May, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a new committee that will focus on Library and Technology Services.
According to Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Chief Legal Officer David Bunis ’83 in an email to the Justice, the committee will hold its first meeting this October. University President Frederick Lawrence has already appointed both a chair and members of the committee. Jeffrey Flier will act as the chair and Curtis Tearte ’73 will act as the vice chair. Members will include Henry Aboodi ’86, Steven Bunson ’82, Daniel Elkaim ’81, Olaf Olafsson ’85, Prof. Wendy Cadge (SC) and Senior Representative to the Board Alex Thompson ’15.
Vice Provost, Chief Information Officer and University Librarian John Unsworth initially requested that the Board consider adding a committee on library and technology services, and he became involved in the formation of the committee. Unsworth wrote in an email to the Justice that he participated in a teleconference with the Audit Committee in January.
“The idea of the committee came up in that context because I thought that there was an enterprise risk in these core university functions—information resources, services, and technologies—proceeding without direct governance from the Board,” he wrote.
During the spring, the Audit Committee sent a recommendation to the executive committee, asking that it consider forming a standing committee on LTS, according to Unsworth. During the Board of Trustees meeting in May, the executive committee acted on this recommendation, and the full Board approved the formation of the standing committee.
Unsworth added that only fragments of LTS activities have been visible to the Board despite the service constituting up to five percent of the University’s spending each year. Items under physical facilities, such as library space, network infrastructure and academic affairs were the only LTS expenditures that were visible to the Board, according to Unsworth.
“By having a committee focused on library and technology services, I think Brandeis can more strategically and more effectively manage the future development and funding of those services, and since information technology is a make-or-break component of most university systems, and information resources are the foundation of new research and scholarship, getting these things to the right level of support and funding is mission-critical,” Unsworth wrote.