Creative integration wins VetMed a top UC tech award

The ability to integrate its core computing systems effectively and creatively helped the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine win a Sautter award at this year's University of California Computing Services Conference.

The Golden Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Information Technology went to the Veterinary Information Portal & Educational Resources (VIPER) project, a core system for the school. "It delivers our curriculum, and provides the curriculum database and scheduling for the school," said Instructional Media Development Specialist Chris Brandt.

The prize essentially honors the school's successful integration of systems, Brandt said. "It's really about trying to get creative, by working with other systems on campus, and by using systems other campuses have created."

One example of that integration is the school's use of Sakai open-source software to support its current course-management tools. The rest of the campus is also adopting Sakai for course tools--the main campus system is called SmartSite--although the School of Veterinary Medicine decided to adopt Sakai first. (It calls its version CERE, for Collaborative Educational Research Environment.)

The UC Information Technology Leadership Council presents up to two golden and three silver Sautter awards each year to faculty and staff in any department at any UC campus, the Office of the President, or the three UC-managed national laboratories. UC Davis recipients have previously won golden awards in 2005 and 2003.

The prizes recognize information technology innovations that can improve UC administrative or academic processes. The name honors the memory of Larry L. Sautter, who was associate vice chancellor for computing and communications at UC Riverside when he died in 1999. He was admired as an energetic and accomplished technologi st.

The University of California Computing Services Conference met July 29-31 in Santa Cruz.