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Time of Transition

CIO Blog
A Time of Transition

Dear OIT Team Members,

It has been several months since I have communicated to all of you regarding the organization, its initiatives, and the strategic direction(s) that will influence our future. All of us have been quite aware of the fact that two major objectives have dominated our efforts; the first related to the improvement of the organization and the strengthening of our skill sets, and the second to the strengthening of the cyber infrastructure, whether it be regarding the Banner upgrades, eLearning migration to a hosted environment, or network build-out and security. So we have focused and indeed focused very well.

Witness what has just been accomplished. The Disaster Recovery initiative was one whopping success! We are one of few universities in the country that has the capability of completely failing over to another site with the high availability and redundancy components in place and fully tested and documented. That became a concerted effort from all of you!
However, as we move forward we face new challenges brought about by the changing dynamics of the senior leadership of the University. We have a new President, and at this time are awaiting the appointment of two key executives. The Provost and the Vice President for Research are critical positions that will affect the direction of technology for the campus and most certainly alter our strategy in the future.

The Provost will significantly influence the academic component of The University. It will most certainly become more dependent on technology for eLearning and on-line capabilities. Student, faculty and staff expectations of what technology should provide to them will only increase and a new Provost will approach what this academic experience should look like. I would expect that multimedia utilization would be significantly enhanced as students transition away from the traditional classrooms to those that are “flipped” or driven by on-line content provisioning. In addition, in order to address the subject of academic continuity, as we have business continuity, courses must have content on-line. It opens up a new world for course delivery!

The Chancellor and the Board have stated that research will be a major priority for this University as it moves forward. The VP for Research is an essential position that must be filled by someone that has significant experience as a researcher and as an administrator, and has the contacts
with the granting agencies. Technology and the use of advanced cyber infrastructure such as HPC and Internet 2 are critical infrastructural tools for the collaborative research that must accompany these efforts as we progress toward becoming a major research University. That means that the infrastructure that we have built out for the University will be efficiently used and demand will push us to provide more capacity.

So hold on…. The ride is about to commence! Change is the norm!

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