PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] – Sharon P. Pitt, an accomplished technology leader and strategist, has been named Brown University’s Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, effective December 1, 2022.
A longtime technology professional who has held leadership positions on the campuses of the University of Delaware, Binghamton University, George Mason University, and North Carolina State University, Pitt brings decades of experience and a data-driven approach to information technology that supports and advances research and scholarship. , while skillfully building infrastructure for future growth.
Pitt will join Brown in the senior information technology role at the University, reporting to executive vice president for finance and administration Sarah C. Latham. Latham said Pitt will use his varied talents and vast experience to play a vital role in supporting Brown’s research enterprise and in leading innovative technology, data and digital solutions for faculty, staff and students.
“Sharon is well positioned to advance Brown’s culture of innovation through a core IT infrastructure that supports campus teaching, research and operational needs,” said Latham. “She has critical experience in instructional technology and research, and she is also engaged in information technology at the national level, so she understands how to take advantage of new opportunities to ensure that the systems of the University are secure and best in class.”
Pitt said she would leverage her expertise to help advance Brown’s technology environments that support research and education, develop secure and durable systems to meet the ever-changing needs of a complex academic environment. and provide direction, innovations and services to the Brown community. .
“I have spent much of my career supporting teaching and learning technologies, and I am very pleased to bring my unique perspective to Brown to advance advancements in these areas,” said pitt. “I will work responsively and collaboratively with Brown faculty, staff and students to support the different disciplines, which have distinct compute, networking and security needs, while advancing the strategic directions of University 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, where she developed and strengthened e-learning capabilities and expanded high-performance computing capacity for the university’s Data Science Institute, among his contributions.
Pitt will join Brown as he continues to strengthen his innovative education and interdisciplinary research and scholarship, as outlined in the University’s Building on Distinction strategic plan. As an example of an emerging project that will leverage cutting-edge technology, Brown plans a new integrated life sciences building in Providence for researchers in biology, medicine, brain science, bioengineering, health public and other disciplines to work together on pressing health issues.
“Sharon’s background in educational technology and research positions her uniquely well to support Brown’s bold goals across a range of academic disciplines,” Latham said. “She also has the organizational design know-how, management skills and emotional intelligence to ensure her team members thrive.”
As a mentor and leader, Pitt is nationally engaged in technology leadership in higher education and sits on the boards of various organizations and advisory and policy 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 in IT program and supported and participated in Delaware’s Girls Who Code program.
“One of the things that really drew me to Brown was his broad commitment to diversity, equity and belonging and the fact that Brown actually has assessment criteria and metrics around DEI for each department of the University,” Pitt said. “I have embraced DEI as a leader and will passionately continue to embrace DEI at Brown.”
Pitt’s portfolio responsibilities at Brown include overseeing most IT systems and services that support teaching and learning; technology support for research and business operations in schools and University administrative functions; budget control and more than 200 IT Office staff; and collaboration with the university library in support of research computing, which is organized at the Center for Computing and Visualization, a unit of the Office of Information Technology.
“There’s very little that technology doesn’t touch in a university,” Pitt said. “A technology leader must create an environment in which the community can use all technology tools in the most effective way to serve the institution, ensure that data flows between these tools, and ensure that faculty and students don’t have technology barriers to their work. Brown has an expert IT team that I’m very happy to join and lead.”
Pitt earned 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 acting chief digital and information officer John Spadaro, who will continue as deputy chief information officer. His appointment follows a nationwide search and feedback from campus stakeholders, as well as input from faculty, staff, students and others during the interview process.