Penn State approaches the governance of research computing and cyberinfrastructure in a unique manner, utilizing a shared approach that engages faculty, IT professionals, and administrators from across the University, and providing a structure through which researchers can elevate their questions, suggestions, and problems to the highest levels of the University.
- The Advisory Council for Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure serves as the home for working groups intended to help resolve the most difficult challenges facing research computing at Penn State. The AC is comprised of a mixed group of individuals representing both faculty and IT professionals. The AC’s working groups focus on various points of friction as they occur in research computing at the University; including topics such as data governance, software acquisition, IT career tracks, faculty on-boarding, and policy issues. Each working group invites participation from additional interested parties drawn from relevant communities of practice.
- The Executive Committee for Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure includes faculty members drawn from ten different departments across five colleges. The role of the smaller, more nimble EC is to provide advice to, receive advice from, and serve as a steering body for the AC. The Executive Committee is the link between the Advisory Council and the senior leadership of the University, and they report directly to the Vice President for Research.
- The Senior Advisor for Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure, aka the Research Guru, serves on the EC, the AC, and each of the AC’s working groups. The role of the Senior Advisor is to provide advice to, receive advice from, and be fully aware of all relevant activities taking place in the AC, the working groups, the EC, and across the University. The goal of the Senior Advisor is to identify and eliminate every point of friction in research computing and cyberinfrastructure across Penn State, ranging from the smallest technical issues to the largest policy issues.
- Taken together, the AC, the working groups, the EC, and the Senior Advisor serve to influence the direction of all services, systems, policies, and processes that affect research computing and cyberinfrastructure at Penn State.