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CIO Executive Summit presentation results in new connections for UT

President Sharon L. Gaber presented the keynote address at the governing body dinner that kicked off the CIO Executive Summit in Detroit last month, discussing with senior technology leaders from major corporations key drivers needed in university-private sector partnerships to cultivate future IT talent.

“It was a great opportunity to share with prestigious leaders how The University of Toledo is using technology, innovation and research to help develop America’s current and future workers so that the U.S. is far better positioned to compete globally as technology continues to develop rapidly,” Gaber said.

Examples from UT she cited during her remarks included training local Jeep assembly-line workers to transfer their skills to successfully produce nearly 205,000 new Jeep Wranglers; “flipping the classroom” so students may watch lectures online, in advance of relevant classroom discourse to problem-solve; developing 3D, virtual reality simulation games for educational use; filling prescriptions for patients through robotics; and offering state-of-the-art education in the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center to medical residents, as well as allied health-care professionals from across the region.

“Among 200 million current workers in the U.S., only 10 percent self-rate as digitally savvy,” Gaber noted. “The average American manufacturing worker is 56 years old. But in India, more than 10 million young people enter the labor market each year, far exceeding the U.S.

“Clearly, American universities must work closely with the private sector to identify specific workforce gaps, and then work collaboratively with them to ensure we meet technology demands of the future,” she said.

As the result of Gaber’s presentation to the CIO Executive Summit governing body, several senior technology leaders will be meeting with UT to explore building mutually beneficial collaborations.

“These partnerships may include working with UT’s technology division to mentor our engineering and IT students in very novel ways,” explained Bill McCreary, vice president and chief information and technology officer, who provided introductory remarks at the summit and introduced Gaber to the elite group.

“Expanding UT’s connections with major corporations and thought leaders helps the University to offer greater opportunities to students, such as internships that expose them to cross-functional teams that are solving critical issues today by using artificial intelligence and other technologies of the fourth industrial revolution,” McCreary said.

“We’ve already had numerous UT graduates recently land jobs with companies like Microsoft and Boeing,” he added. “We want to further capitalize on the innovative technology and research we offer at UT to prepare many more students to succeed at Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit organizations throughout the U.S.”

McCreary is a member of the governing body of the regional CIO Executive Summit group, and joined his counterpart from General Dynamics to speak on artificial intelligence in cybersecurity during the summit.