Providence, Rhode Island [Brown University] — Sharon P. Pitt, an accomplished technology leader and strategist, has been named Brown University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, effective December. January 1, 2022.
A longtime technology professional who has held campus leadership positions at the University of Delaware, Binghamton University, George Mason University and North Carolina State University, Pitt brings decades of experience and data-driven Information technology methods that support and advance research and scholarly research while skillfully building the infrastructure for future growth.
Pitt will join Brown in a top-level information technology role at the university, reporting to Sarah C. Latham, executive vice president of finance and administration. Latham said Pitt will leverage her broad talents and broad experience to play a key role in supporting Brown’s research enterprise and leading innovative technology, data and digital solutions for faculty, staff and students.
“Sharon is ideally suited to advance Brown’s culture of innovation through a core IT infrastructure that supports the campus’ teaching, research and operational needs,” Latham said. “She has significant experience in teaching technology and research, and she has also worked in information technology at the national level, so she understands how to take advantage of new opportunities to ensure the security and excellence of the university system.”
Pitt said she will use her expertise to help advance Brown’s technological environment that supports research and education, develop safe and sustainable systems to meet the changing needs of the complex university environment, and provide direction, innovation and service to the Brown community .
“I’ve spent most of my career supporting teaching and learning technology, and I’m excited to bring my unique perspective to Brown to advance these fields,” said Pitt. “I will actively respond and collaborate with Brown faculty, staff and students to support diverse disciplines with diverse computing, networking and security needs, while advancing the University’s strategic direction and ensuring robust and reliable systems everywhere.”
Pitt joined the University of Delaware in 2017 as Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, and among her contributions has developed and enhanced online learning capabilities and expanded the high-performance computing capabilities of the University’s Data Science Institute.
Pitt will join Brown as it continues to strengthen its innovative education and interdisciplinary research and scholarship, as outlined in the university’s “Building Excellence” strategic plan. As an example of emerging projects that rely on cutting-edge technology, Brown is planning to build a new integrated life sciences building in Providence for scholars in biology, medicine, brain science, bioengineering, public health and other disciplines to work together with health related issues.
“Sharon’s experience in teaching technology and research makes her uniquely suited to support Brown’s bold goals across disciplines,” Latham said. “She also possesses the organizational design knowledge, management skills and emotional intelligence to ensure her team members thrive.”
As a mentor and leader, Pitt is involved in higher education technology leadership at the national level and serves on various organizations’ boards and advisory and strategy groups including Internet2 and EDUCAUSE. Pitt said she approaches her work through an institutional equity and diversity lens. For example, under her leadership at the University of Delaware, the IT team created a women’s IT program and supported and participated in Delaware’s Girls to Code program.
“One of the things that really appeals to me about Brown is its broad commitment to diversity, equity and belonging, and the fact that Brown has evaluation criteria and metrics around DEI for virtually every department of the university,” Pitt said. “I have embraced DEI as a leader and will continue to embrace DEI enthusiastically at Brown.”
Pitt’s responsibilities at Brown include overseeing most of the IT systems and services that support teaching and learning; providing technical support for research and business operations across the University’s school and administrative functions; overseeing the Office of Information Technology’s budget and staff of more than 200; And supports research computing in cooperation with the University Libraries, which is organized by the Computing and Visualization Center under the Office of Information Technology.
“There’s very little technology in colleges doesn’t involve,” Pitt said. “Technology leaders must create an environment in which the community can utilize all the technology tools in the most efficient way to serve the institution, ensuring that data flows between those tools. , and ensure that teachers and students do not have any technical barriers to their work. Brown has a dedicated IT team and I am excited to join and lead the team.”
Pitt holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in architecture from Virginia Tech. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration from George Mason University.
Joining Brown, Pitt will succeed interim chief digital and information officer John Spadaro, who will continue as deputy chief information officer. Her appointment followed a national search and input from campus stakeholders, as well as the involvement of staff, students and others during the interview process.