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“Pioneer: One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development”

May 13, 2013, by Shelton Waggener
Tags: Cloud Computing, cloud pioneer, Cloud Services & Applications, CloudProud, Collaboration, Executive Insights, Governance, imported, Internet2 NET+, Products & Services, Tools & Collaboration

The fundamental premise of Internet2 is to connect researchers, scholars, students, innovators and community members to each other, regardless of distance, to work collaboratively to tackle some of the biggest fundamental challenges. All share a common understanding that to take on those challenges, you have to take risks, commit to work with each other while there are still many unknowns, engage, explore and try (and try again) to find paths moving forward.

In February 2010, at a joint meeting sponsored by Internet2, EDUCAUSE and NACUBO, senior leaders from more than 50 universities gathered in Tempe, Arizona to discuss what impact, response and strategy higher education should consider related to the emerging cloud computing paradigm.

It’s easy to see now, three years removed from that meeting, that the whole paradigm of cloud computing has gone viral and is clearly here to stay. But at the time, mired in the third year of brutal budget cuts and individual institution entrenchment, there were many legitimate questions within higher education up to that meeting about the security, applicability, and sustainability of a cloud model that seemed to daunting to take on. The easiest path forward might have been to share ideas in that meeting, then return back to our institutions planning and watching from the sideline to see how things in the cloud world developed while we each plowed ahead dealing with our own challenges.

Instead, executives representing a small group of universities left that Tempe gathering determined to not deal with this challenge alone. Together they committed to explore, collaborate and research options, and bring their collective ability (and that of the larger community) to directly influence the direction of the emerging cloud computing industry. Thanks to the work of these pioneering individuals and institutions, the Internet2 NET+ program was established bringing tremendous alignment, influence, impact, savings and value not only to those institutions, but to all of higher education and beyond.

"The NET+ Pioneer institutions are the first of many to step up to the challenge, committing their resources and creativity to overcome the obstacles and bring the cloud to education," said Michael R. McPherson, University of Virginia’s associate vice president and deputy chief information officer. “The University of Virginia is proud to be a member of this group of trailblazers. Adoption of cloud services and architectures presents a particular challenge to educational institutions, as we are responsible for protecting information holdings ranging from student data to health data while providing access to the latest tools and resources in support of our core missions.”

At the Internet2 Annual Meeting, the following 12 institutions and individuals were recognized for their pioneering work.

California Institute of Technology—CIO Rich Fagen

Carnegie Mellon: past CIO Joel Smith & current CIO Steve Huth

Cornell:  CIO Ted Dodds

George Mason University:  CIO Joy Hughes

Indiana University:  CIO Brad Wheeler

Penn State:  CIO Kevin Morooney

Stanford University:  CIO Bill Clebsch & Chief IT Architect Bruce Vincent

University of Michigan: CIO Laura Patterson

University of Notre Dame: CIO Ron Kramer

University of Utah: past CIO Steve Hess & current CIO Eric Denna

University of Virginia: CIO James Hilton & Deputy CIO Michel McPherson

University of Wisconsin-Madison: past CIO Ron Kramer & current CIO Bruce Mass

You can discover Internet2’s other “CloudProud” universities and participating vendors on the  Internet2 NET+ page.