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ITACS Emphasizes Outreach With Regional, DOD Partners

Senior academic and information technology leaders from educational institutions across the DOD/DON enterprise are pictured during a gathering at NPS in early March to discuss opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Later, NPS ITACS held its latest meeting of its Monterey Peninsula Chief Information Officer Council, March 28, emphasizing the importance of outreach in its efforts to provide leading-edge technologies to the university campus.

Naval Postgraduate School’s Information Technology and Communications Services (ITACS) hosted a pair of meetings in March demonstrating the organization’s commitment to outreach and partnership with peer IT organizations across the DOD’s advanced education enterprise, and regionally.

Building off a gathering of chief academic officers from the DOD’s higher education institutions, ITACS partnered with the Provost Steven Lerman’s office to host chief information officers (CIO) from the same organizations in what leaders say is a first-ever gathering of this comprehensive group of DOD/DON educational leaders.

“Although all of the participating educational institutions have different missions, we share many of the same problems and concerns,” added Lerman. “The opportunity to describe our respective experiences in how we manage our educational organizations and learn from each other’s experience is incredibly valuable.

“We identified several areas for further cooperation,” he continued, “including our practices to create a diverse and inclusive workforce, sharing of educational software, personnel retention, and how we are adapting our curricula to align with the National Defense Strategy.”

From the information technology perspective, participants immediately identified the value of the exchange.

“This groundbreaking meeting between DOD and DON academic and information officers held at NPS led to an extraordinary exchange of dialog and awareness,” said Naval War College CIO Joseph Pangborn. “This gathering has laid the groundwork for an unprecedented sharing of curricula, technologies, ideas and collaboration possibilities moving forward.”

Joe LoPiccolo, NPS CIO, called the first-ever meeting an invaluable opportunity “for the development of solutions to ensure the mission successes of each institution.”

“Of particular importance was to hear from the chief academic officers on the value of information technology for delivery of education, and to keep a research advantage over our competition,” he continued. “The combined focus to create efficiencies that are robust, sustainable and fiscally responsible to the taxpayer are paramount to our collective thinking.”

ITACS followed up the gathering with its latest meeting of the Monterey Peninsula CIO Council. ITACS reignited the council in April of 2018, in an effort to align goals, leverage resources and maximize IT benefits to the region. Membership includes regional DOD institutions like the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, as well as non-DOD organizations like the City of Monterey and Montage Health.

In welcoming the consortium of regional IT officials, NPS Chief of Staff Navy Capt. Mike Ward described the gathering as a progressive approach to seek partnerships between institutions with similar goals.

“Information technology is one of the areas where all of our organizations should be partnering,” said Ward. “Even though we might have some similar, and some different needs and requirements, we apply the technology the same through our communication and partnerships.”