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UIT Hosts Regional Sustainability Meeting Focused on Green Computing

Last December, a group of education IT professionals representing various schools in the region met at Lone Star College to discuss sustainability and green initiatives in education. Representatives were present from K-12 districts and higher education and heard presentations from the Gartner Group, Hewlett-Packard and participated in a roundtable discussion. UH Representatives at the event were Chief Information Officer Dennis Fouty, Interim Executive Director for Technology Services and Support Jim Bradley, Interim Manager for Desktop Technologies Alby Rose and Associate to the CIO Rita Barrantes.

One outcome of that meeting was to establish a leadership group to write the charter, name the group and propose future activities. In addition, the leadership group will work on governance issues. Jim Bradley represents UH on the leadership group, which also includes representatives from Lone Star College, Prairie View A&M, Rice University and UH-Downtown.

On January 26, UH hosted the first meeting of the leadership group. The group discussed core principles, future visions, schedules and goals. It also selected the name "Texas Educational Sustainable Technology Consortium <http://groups.google.com/group/test-con> " and drafted a description of itself as a "group of Texas educational entities working on a collaborative approach to serving our constituents and community in the area of sustainability."

Some of the highlights of the meeting were the discussions about core principles. Bradley said "it was really a great experience to be with other professionals and to see how tightly aligned our focus is on the student and our commitment to the educational mission. We all came to the table for different reasons but when we started talking about core principles, there was virtually unanimous agreement on important questions such as how we could contribute the success of our students, our schools and our communities. I thought it was a great meeting because we came out of it enthused about what we could accomplish together.

The group agreed to recommend two meetings per semester for the larger group and locations throughout the region and to work towards eventually establishing an annual conference where information could be shared across all Texas educational institutions.

Sustainable computing has been a longstanding priority for UIT. Each year, it is estimated that $1.5M is spent powering computers and computing accessories on campus. Information Technology is committed to finding new ways to build a more energy efficient campus, all without sacrificing service quality. UIT has compiled a list of things that can be done for campus computers to use less energy; these same recommendations for maintaining eco-friendly systems could also be applied to your homeís computing environment as well.

To learn more about UITís Green Computing initiative and what you can do to help, click here.