AVP & CTO Update, April 16, 2018
Good morning everyone
I hope you had a safe weekend. The weather was pretty nasty. A good weekend to stay indoors and hope for warmer temps. The campus was closed all weekend as a result of the weather as you are likely aware. I want to thank some of our team members who get involved during closures to take care of the external telephone messages (Paula, Tara) and also thank individuals who helped out when the McMaster website had some issues this weekend (Wayde, Richard, and I am sure others that I do not know). Thanks to all who kick in to do what needs to be done.
Spending a weekend at home while winter re-surged meant I had time to undertake activities like purging closets, reading books, and watching Netflix. I discovered the 4th season of Chef’s Table which focuses fully on desserts. It was absolutely magical. Perfect for dreaming of summer, and treats and definitely a perfect escape from a yucky weather weekend. If you have a sweet tooth, or you want to develop one, I fully recommend it. Fantastic! And if you haven’t watched Chef’s Table but have foody tendencies, I recommend the full series.
What I learned last week
- VP Research Rob Baker came to the Admin Strategies meeting last Monday – the gathering of Roger’s senior team – to discuss the Research Strategic Plan document. The strategic plan was approved at the Senate meeting two days later. There has been broad consultation across the campus and Rob will be finalizing the plan and making it more publicly available. Rob generously shared some of his valuable lessons learned and I will be able to take some of these learnings forward as I work on my own strategic planning initiative. Rob will be sharing the final version so I can forward it for your benefit and it will be up on the website soon as well.
- Kevin and I met with Jacy Lee and Amjad Ghafoor from the Institutional Analysis and Research (IAR) team. UTS has been forging closer interactions with the IAR team with weekly meetings. It was an opportunity to talk about the benefits of these shared interests and to plan continued efforts. We are working on BI architecture planning and procedural and operational improvements between UTS and IAR.
- The President attended Provost Council on Wednesday morning. He introduced the new AVP Equity and Inclusion, Arig al Shaibah who has been on campus for just a couple of weeks.
- We have come to the end of the Manager Communications and Culture recruitment process. I am waiting on final documentation before I can announce the name of the successful candidate. In the mean time I want to thank the hiring committee for their valuable contributions in this process: Gord Arbeau, CPA; David Kingma, Faculty of Humanities; along with Richard Godsmark, Kevin de Kock, Carmalita Larkin, Amanda Baldwin.
My book for this week
Bad weather weekends are more conducive to fiction than non fiction so I read a novel: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. If you know The Notebook or Message in a Bottle or Dear John, also his, you know enough. I am still working on Leaders Eat Last.
What I am up to this week
- I have a scheduled call with the CEO of eCampusOntario, David Porter. We will discuss shared areas of interest and what the future directions are for eCampusOntario so we can understand benefits and opportunities for McMaster.
- I have my update meeting with David and Roger
- I meet with the Dean of the Business School, Len Waverman and the Dean of Social Sciences, Jeremy Hurley – these are regular semester meetings.
- I am attending a session on Tuesday where Dr. Phil Hockberger from Northwestern University will be sharing his experience with developing a sustainable university wide core facility model, alongside of Roger and his senior team.
- We are meeting with our Facilities partners to discuss an opportunity for regular meetings to cover our shared interests: related to technology implementations in new and renovated facilities across campus. There will be more to share on this as we outline the terms of reference for these meetings.
- I will be attending a welcome reception on Thursday for the new Director of the Socrates Project.
- I will be preparing for my Strategic Planning process which begins with the first meeting of the IT Strategic Planning committee on April 24.
- We are providing the IT Executive with their agenda packages for the meeting on April 23. The agenda is visible on Confluence – so final prep for this.
- And of course, regular meetings are interspersed with all of the above.
I wish you all a very good week – let’s hope the weather continues to improve.