Things Need to Know About ITSC and SCIT

1. What is ITSC?

The Information Technology Steering Committee (ITSC) advises the Institute’s Director and other Institute Officers about IT issues that cut across functional boundaries and sets priorities for technology-related projects that will enhance the research, education, and administrative efforts of MIT. The long-range goal of ITSC is to bring together senior faculty from all disciplines at MIT who are interested in or concerned with information technology. Its purpose is not to make operational decisions about systems, but rather to bring visibility to the many issues related to the effective use of information resources so that these issues can be discussed by all members of the community, including students.

2. What is SCIT?

The Steering Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) makes operational decisions about the uses of information technology within MIT. It sets priorities for information technology projects that will enhance research, education, and administrative efforts at MIT; oversees the allocation of available resources; acquires new capabilities; ensures the secure operation of systems; promotes compatibility across platforms; coordinates local area networks among scientific disciplines and departments; regulates the use of these networks to protect against unauthorized access to or from external networks (e.g., Internet); establishes standards for network service; provides for interoperability among services provided by different groups; designs guidelines for security procedures pertaining to electronic mail, computer files, remote logins, system administration, data backup and recovery, disk usage, dial-in access, etc.

3. Who are the members of ITSC?

The IT Advisory Committee (ITAC) has recommended that senior faculty from all disciplines at MIT be involved in technology decisions affecting their research, education, and administrative efforts. It is currently composed of 23 voting members with representation from many different areas including human biology; political science; physics; chemistry; mathematics; biological engineering; chemical engineering; electrical engineering and computer science; mechanical engineering; civic engagement and local government. Three non-voting liaison representatives from the Corporation, the Library and Information Services Division, and the Academic Media Production Services Division also attend meetings as ex-officio members. In addition to its role as a committee reporting to the President through the Director, ITSC is a subcommittee of the IT Advisory Committee.

4. Who are the members of SCIT?

The Steering Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) is composed of Senior Faculty from several areas across MIT, including Academic Media Production Services; Academic Media Resources; Chemistry and Brain & Cognitive Sciences Departments; Department of Linguistics and Philosophy; Department of Physics; Institute Archives and Special Collections Library; Institute Communications Systems Laboratory (ISSL); Institute Operations staff in Building Operations, Campus Police, FastLane/CiTools, Fire Safety Division, Network Control Center, Payroll Office, and Purchasing & Travel Services Departments; Libraries staff in A/V Preservation Lab, Technical Services Division and Web Publishing Group; MIT Medical’s Office of Educational Technology; MIT Sloan School of Management. In addition, there are three non-voting liaison representatives from the Corporation, Media Lab, and Library who attend meetings as ex-officio members.

5. What is the ITSC Agenda?

The ITSC Agenda is the weekly meeting time slot for the MIT faculty to take care of center business. The SCIT agenda follows immediately after, taking up about half the time. Therefore, many items on the ITSC Agenda are discussed during SCIT meetings. For this reason, Minutes summarizing each ITSC meeting are placed in both places.

6. What is the SCIT Agenda?

The SCIT agenda primarily consists of reports from the Director, ITSC Chair, Provost’s Office staff liaisons to SCIT, Co-Directors, and campus CIOs with an update on the progress of major initiatives underway across campus. The meeting may also include special presentations by members of the MIT community on topics that are relevant to technical services at MIT. Having both agendas in one document allows users to access information easily without having to review multiple resources.

7. Difference Between ITSC and SCIT

ITS Advisory Committee (ITAC) is responsible for providing advice to the president on information technology. The committee reports its recommendations through the Director, ITS to the President. It is composed of senior faculty from all disciplines at MIT. The Steering Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) handles ITS Community Matters. SCIT provides an opportunity for faculty- IT staff interaction across departments and schools at MIT via biweekly meetings where technical workgroups are represented by their CIOs. SCIT also acts as a subcommittee of ITAC.

8. Similarities Between ITSC and SCIT

Both ITSC and SCIT give reports to the president regarding recommendations on information technology at MIT. They both have a membership consisting of senior faculty from all disciplines. Both meet bi-weekly with alternating agendas.

9. Education Platforms Which Can Be Utilized By ITSC Member?

ITS can be considered as a platform for many courses, including service courses such as Digital Preservation, Systems Administration, etc., but also including courses focused around the needs of specific groups such as Collection Development & Management or Metadata Services. In addition to coursework, there are several workshops offered each term which may also provide potential education opportunities for SCIT members: – Preservation Assessment Program (PAP) Workshop is a one-day-long review by librarians of preservation features in scholarly, dissertations, and archival collections.

This workshop is usually offered once a month. – Electronic Tools & Resources (ITR) Workshop is three days long and is intended to familiarize faculty with tools that faculty can use for teaching or research purposes. OTR workshops are typically offered four times each term. – Digitization Services Program (DSP) Workshops are held approximately once per term, where participants learn about topics including organizing digital files, scanning equipment functionality & limitations, image capture best practices for specific collections, metadata creation workflow issues, how to make good decisions about digitizing specific collections based on the goals of the project, etc.

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