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Letter: CIS integral in Today@Brown and digital transformation

To the Editor:

It can be rare for a student newspaper to recognize in its reporting the tools and systems that a university puts in place to benefit the day-to-day lives of members of its community, so it’s noteworthy that The Herald chose to mark the two-year anniversary of Today@Brown with a recent article. But there are two important points that did not get included in the published story, “Today@Brown celebrates two-year anniversary,” that actually make Today@Brown more significant than serving as the daily digest of priority messages, announcements and events that students, faculty and staff wake up to every morning.

First, the project is foundational to the ongoing Digital Transformation Project launched at Brown by President Christina Paxson to improve Brown’s fragmented digital ecosystem and ease access to digital resources and information. And just as important, Today@Brown has been a joint collaboration between the Office of University Communications and extraordinary partners in Computing and Information Services. While technological complexities may not be a likely subject of exciting reporting, what continues to attract other universities across the country is the work that developers in CIS did with the tech firm Originate to develop the backbone for a platform that is helping Brown customize information delivery via a range of other apps and tools. Today@Brown is a foundation to allow other systems at Brown to distribute information that is specifically relevant to 18 identified audience segments, and according to their self-selected interests.

Today@Brown is the community’s platform, and colleagues in CIS must be recognized for their ongoing expertise and agility in advancing technology that has been informed by the direct feedback of our campus. In addition to the efforts of Director of Web and Digital Communications Strategy Joel Pattison and Assistant Vice President Brian Clark of the Office of University Communications, which are recognized in the recent article, Deputy CIO John Spadaro and Associate Director of Integration and Identity Services Christopher Keith of CIS have worked tirelessly with other members of their teams to bring these innovations to Brown. First under then-CIO Ravi Pendse and now under Chief Digital Officer and CIO Bill Thirsk, the creativity of the team in CIS is fueling development of experiences for students, faculty and staff to fulfill an exciting vision for digital at Brown.

Cass Cliatt
Vice President for Communications


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