George Mason University has become the third university in the United States to join the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as an academic member. ITU is the United Nations' agency for information and communication technologies. ITU is responsible for allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, developing telecommunications technical standards, and works to improve access to information and communication technologies to underserved communities worldwide. The union is comprised of 190 member states, more than 700 private sector members and 45 academic members worldwide.
Mason faculty and researchers will be part of and contribute to ITU standards and study groups on issues including cyber security, mobiles, future networks, multimedia, M2M, and car communications. The School of Management's MS in Technology Management program is serving as the point of contact for the university's ITU Academic Membership.
Universities provide critical insight, expertise and research to the development of telecommunications and relating emerging technologies. Academic membership provides university faculty the opportunity to more formally engage the government and private sector as telecommunications becomes an ever more important aspect of society and economies worldwide.
J.P. Auffret, director of the MS in Technology Management Program, says, "Mobile phones and telecommunications are leading to major changes in industry, society and government and the ITU Academic Membership provides Mason faculty another avenue to engage actively and be in the forefront of the mobiles revolution." In addition, Auffret believes that ITU also provides another path for Mason to further efforts on CIO and IT Executive Leadership education and IT human capacity development overall.
Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Academic Membership and of the ITU Telecommunications Standardization Bureau is planning a visit to Mason this coming spring to meet with Mason faculty and administrators.