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SPARC Council will coordinate IT planning and resources for MIT

Information technology has become one of the most important factors in the success of academic, research and administrative enterprise at MIT. A 2002 external review committee recommended that MIT appoint a strategic coordinating body to develop better Institute-wide processes for planning and resource allocation for all aspects of IT.

In response, Provost Robert Brown and Executive Vice President John Curry have established the Information Technology Strategic Planning and Resources Coordinating Council (IT-SPARCC). With members from the Academic Council, MIT Council on Education Technology, and the Administrative Systems and Policies Coordinating Council, IT-SPARCC will be chaired by Jerrold M. Grochow, vice president for Information Services and Technology. This group will advise the provost and executive vice president on policy and priorities for IT infrastructure and services. Patrick Dreher, associate director of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science, will serve as deputy chair of IT-SPARCC.

IT-SPARCC will discuss reports and proposals on issues prepared by task forces of the council, by staff or by other organizations within MIT, and will focus on setting policy and making recommendations with broad impact. Topics that the council will consider may include a general review of the provision of IT and related services at MIT; charging mechanisms for IT services; strategies for allocation of the Institute general budget across academic, administrative and research computing; space allocation for IT; and a review of priorities for computing infrastructure, academic computing and administrative IT.

Recommendations from IT-SPARCC will feed directly into the decision-making process for capital allocation, annual budgets and rate structures.

To contact the council, send e-mail to or to individual members, whose names can be found online at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 6, 2004 (download PDF).

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