The Public Interest Technology University Network has announced grants totaling nearly $4 million to twenty-five partner institutions.
Convened in 2019 by the Ford, Hewlett, and New America foundations, with additional support from the Patrick J. McGovern and Raikes foundations, the Mastercard Impact Fund, the Siegel Family Endowment, and Schmidt Futures, the network comprises colleges and universities dedicated to defining and building the field of public interest technology and supporting a new generation of civic-minded technologists and digitally-fluent policy leaders. To that end, the inaugural round of University Challenge grants will help member institutions fund critical research, field-building efforts, and an inclusive career pipeline for public-interest technologists.
Colleges and universities receiving grants include Arizona State University, Boston University, Cal Poly Corporation (the service auxiliary of California Polytechnic State University), Carnegie Mellon University, City University of New York, Columbia University, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Georgetown University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Miami Dade College, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stanford University, George Washington University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Texas, Austin, University of the South, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
"Our work points to how important it is to make public interest technology a permanent and vital pathway in higher education," said New America president Anne-Marie Slaughter. "Public interest technologists are at the forefront of societal change and progress, and our students are leading us toward a more prosperous, more just, and more collaborative future. Institutional members of the University Network are already making big changes in our world. For example, our PIT-UN practitioners and students are among the many people working on COVID-19 testing, tracing, and response. In addition, our network members are working on solving the problems of environmental social injustices. I look forward to hearing more about both topics and the solutions our 2019 grantees have come up with at the 2020 Convening panel sessions."