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BU Report Highlights Progress & Challenges
for PIT-UN Members

Institutionalizing PIT

March, 2023

This report from Katharine Lusk and Azer Bestravos of Boston University evaluates of the state of the field across the 43 academic institutions that make up the Public Interest Technology University Network as of the summer of 2021, providing insight into the ways in which PIT-UN members are investing in its five priority areas, and sheds light on the state of the field more generally. 

It examines the maturity of PIT efforts across members, their priorities related to students, faculty and practitioners — including institutional infrastructure — as well barriers to growth. 

The data also begin to shed light on the pathways available to institutions in the earlier stages of PIT growth as they seek to foster community, align around a shared vision, and make preliminary investments. 

Finally, it wades into the ongoing debate about what encompasses “public interest technology” and provides some potential for clarity, based on the input of members.

Author: Katharine Lusk, Co-Director and Founding Executive Director, Boston University Initiative on Cities.

Azer Bestravos, Associate Provost for Computing and Data Sciences

Author: Azer Bestravos, Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science,  Associate Provost for Computing & Data Sciences, Boston University.

Special thanks to BU Students Emanne Khan, Dhruv Kapadia, and Elizabeth Kostina, and to Sarah Zureiqat and Songhyun Park; and Andreen Soley and Alberto Rodríguez Álvarez, New America.