In 2015, the Utah State Legislature prioritized $15 million in new annual performance-based funding for colleges and universities who were able to meet several important metrics:

  • The total number of degrees and certificates granted
  • Services provided to traditionally underserved populations
  • Responsiveness to workforce needs, including the top 10 “5-star” occupations requiring a college degree or certificate (https://ushe.edu/most-popular-college-majors-in-utah/) as established by the Utah Department of Workforce Services. These include software developers, computer programmers and system developers
  • Graduation efficiency, and
  • Graduate research

After reviewing resources and expertise at the university, an outside team of consultants concluded the U is uniquely positioned to create cross-campus and cross-disciplinary opportunities in computing, data and informatics. In 2019, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dan Reed established the University of Utah Informatics Initiative (UI2) to build on the institution’s existing educational, research and workforce development strengths. UI2 makes the U the University for Utah when it comes to data-driven science and engineering research; educational innovation in certificate and degree development; and technology preparedness.


Mike Kirby

UI2 Director

UI2 Advisory Board


Since the fall of 2019, a key group of university faculty have been meeting to guide the launch of UI2—drafting guiding concepts, inventorying the course catalogue, developing certificate programs, and identifying key data technology faculty. The advisory board meets bi-weekly.

Jim Agutter

School Of Architecture

Rick Forster

Social Sciences

Jakob Jensen

College of Humanities

Sylvia Jessen

School of Medicine IT

Sneha Kasera

School of Computing

Ha Na Lee

Fine Arts

Harish Maringanti

Marriott Library

Monisha Pasupathi


Andrea Rorrer


Olivia Sheng


Peter Trapa


UI2 Advisory Board


The advisory board will be constituted in the fall of 2020 based upon initial feedback and recommendations by the Formation Task Force.