AVP & CTO Update August 27, 2018
Good morning colleagues!
The students are back and it is Welcome Week here at McMaster! Enjoy the increased tempo and excitement – and please remember to smile and help our students to feel welcome (even if the line ups, few parking spaces and foot traffic impacts you!). We are here to support them, after all. Learn more about what is going on this week from the Student Success Welcome Week schedule. I bet Starbucks is open again…!
What I learned last week
- I was away for the better part of the week at a cottage on Island 852 – or as I know it, Capel Island – in Lake Temagami. It was a fantastic break with no cell or internet service. The island was so QUIET – we think there were birds of prey so not even songbirds…that was a bit eerie. Lots of time to think, and relax. I have attached one or two pics for you.
- I returned to work on Friday for a fast and furious day of meetings: budget and more IT Strategic Plan activities (get used to these themes!). Things are shaping up thanks to the great effort of the AVP/CTO leadership team and office team members! Thanks team!
What books did I read
- Michael Ondaatje’s Cat’s Table – more Canadian Literature! This is a great fictional account of an ocean crossing and ensuing adventures by a Sri Lankan boy – not a true story of Ondaatje’s experiences, even though it reads like one. As I was digesting this I had the funny feeling I had read it before…certain scenes were just a bit too familiar. And yet I kept going – that tells you that it is a great escape.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have to thank Randy Walinga for the recommendation. If you love the 80s, video/computer games, science fiction, young adult lit, the potential of technology yet unrealized, or any combination of these, you will love this. Totally immersive.
What am I up to this week
- I meet with David Farrar first thing on Monday
- Along with members of the IT Strategic Plan project team (Tanya, Amanda), I am attending the Student Affairs meeting this morning to provide them with an update on the IT Strat Plan process and take them through a Digital Moments exercise
- I am having a lunch meeting with the Registrar, Melissa Poole
- I am meeting with Dee Henne and Kevin Beatty, two members of my IT Strategic Planning Steering Committee to share an early draft version of the IT Strat Plan with them for feedback
- I meet with Paul Muir for our regular security update
- We have an IT Executive Governance Committee meeting on Tuesday AM
- Jacy Lee and I have our regular monthly update meeting
- I have a meeting with Roger Couldrey and David Farrar to get their input on the draft IT Strategic Plan
- Provost Council has its retreat on campus all of Wednesday afternoon
- I will be presenting at the UTS All Staff meeting on Thursday
- I have a call regarding the Shared SOC proof of concept initiative
- Lots of Budget and Strategic Planning activities
Speaking of budgets (isn’t everyone!), our Budget Services financial senior analyst, Kathy Pfeiffer’s, last week with us before she heads to FHS for a one year career growth opportunity! It is always hard to see our colleagues leave us and I want to say a very sincere thank you to Kathy for her two years of great support. We will miss her – at least she is still here at Mac! We will also host Kathy’s replacement this week, Umer Siddiqui, joining us from FHS! Umer will support both the UTS and HR budgets and will be transitioning into this new role over the next few weeks. He is only here 2 days this week, gradually increasing until his official start on September 24. Like Kathy, Umer will be located in room 225 here in BSB. Welcome to Umer!
It definitely feels like the fall semester is upon us and things are gearing up! Having said that, we have one more long weekend to go. Enjoy this week and the Labour Day weekend, everyone.