CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558
Information technology director takes leave to head NFS Internet
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- William F. Decker, director of Information Technology
Services for the University of Iowa, will take a two-year leave of absence
to direct all Internet connections programs for the National Science Foundation
(NSF) in Washington, D.C.
The appointment was announced by Dr. George Strawn, director of the
Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure Division of NSF.
Decker, who is also UI associate vice president for research, will assume
his new duties April 1, 1998. As program director for NSFNET, he will
be involved with NSF programs related to the Internet 2 project, a partnership
of 108 universities that aims to create a computer network that is 100
times as fast as the Internet.
The UI is a member of the newly formed University Corporation for Advanced
Internet Development, which is pushing the Internet 2 project. In addition,
the UI is one of a number of universities connected to the NSF's high speed
computer network known as the Very High Speed Backbone Network Service,
or vBNS, which has become the backbone of the Internet 2 project.
Decker will also be involved in the Next Generation Internet project,
a government effort designed to create a high-speed Internet backbone that
will be 100 to 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.
"I'm tremendously excited to have this opportunity to be directly
involved in the development of a national telecommunications infrastructure
that many of us believe to be critically important to the future of higher
education," Decker said. "When I return to the university, my
direct experience in developing this new network will enhance the university's
ability to capitalize on the opportunities it presents."
"This appointment is a well-deserved acknowledgment that Bill Decker
is among the nation's leaders in information technology," said David
J. Skorton, UI vice president for research. "It reflects well on
the University of Iowa that a member of our staff has been chosen to participate
in a program of this magnitude.
"It is part of Bill Decker's nature to be eager to perform this
public service," Skorton said. "But it is just as important
to point out that Bill sees this as a way to extend his service to the
university. That speaks volumes about his commitment to the university,
which he has served for nearly three decades."
While serving as NSFNET program director, Decker will remain a UI employee
and will return to campus three to four days each month to consult with
ITS staff members about projects and strategic planning. The UI will receive
a grant from NSF for 85 percent of his salary with the remainder representing
a grant match from the UI.
Skorton will name an acting ITS director in the near future. In addition,
Decker will be naming a new deputy director of ITS sometime in December.