AVP & CTO Update June 11, 2018
Here is a quick run down of the week that has passed and the week to come:
What I learned last week
- A substantial amount of my time last week was invested in the McMaster IT Strategic Planning sessions for the IT community. We had 4 x 2 hour sessions and they were ALL fantastic. I learned so much, we received incredible input and feedback, discovered there is so much consistency across the participants’ perspective, and generally had a great time. I also met a number of people I hadn’t before. These were AMAZING sessions and I am forever grateful to everyone who participated. What I learned most was that we have such dedicated people who are working hard for McMaster. We have one more session, this morning in BSB 136. Even if you have NOT signed up, but you have from 9 to 11 free, and you want to attend, come and join us! Ongoing updates will be provided on my website.
- Client/Contact/Customer relationship Management (CRM) sessions – I also attended two of the CRM discovery sessions this past week. The intent was to bring various stakeholders together to define CRM at McMaster – what does it mean, who has it, who wants it, what will it solve… and so forth. A number of individuals from across campus participated. I was there to open the meeting and lead the introductory session. It was amazing to hear what people’s hopes and dreams are on this and to compare across the institution. This is a project that will deliver a recommendation for how we can move CRM forward. Please stay tuned!
What I read last week
- Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown: My decision to read this book was driven in part by my past enjoyment of Brown’s books (The Da Vinci Code etc.) and my desire for an ‘easy’ read. My brain gets lazy sometimes. It was the usual fast paced, kind of unbelievable Brown story line, and yet it carried on his tradition of weaving symbolism and historical knowledge into the adventure – and I was pleasantly surprised with the major themes of technology and AI in the book. It provoked some interesting thoughts around evolution and religion. And it had a serendipitous connection with so many of my other reads this year: It reflects on the meaning of life with an apocalyptic thread, combined with a deep reverence for the capabilities of technology and science. It has a Frankenstein reference and it also delivers a hopeful look at what may be possible in the future thanks to disruptive and exponentially developing technology. I enjoyed it immensely for all of the above, plus all of the historic, literary, artistic references. Oh and it takes place in Spain – I haven’t been there yet so it has piqued my interest. A good summer read – and definitely fun for tech heads. And it makes you wonder… where are we going…?
What am I up to this week
- The CAUBO (Canadian Association of University Business Officers) conference is on this week, a number of our colleagues are in attendance – Roger Couldrey, Dee Henne, Kathy Denney, Mohamed Attala, Kathy Pfeiffer, etc. McMaster won 2nd prize in the 2018 CAUBO Quality and Productivity (Q&P) Awards Program for it’s submission: IT Services Transformation – Review Approach and Outcomes,. This nomination and award are recognizing the intent and delivery of our IT Services review in 2016 as well as the aftermath. The award will be given out today at Simon Fraser University where CAUBO is taking place this week. Congratulations McMaster -and to everyone who played a role in the IT Services Review – wonderful!
- We have our final (for now) IT Community Strategic Planning engagement session this morning.
Kevin, Sophia, and other members of our team are sitting down with an array of academic stakeholders today to discuss a number of small projects related to the Mosaic Campus Solutions Student System.
- I am attending a session led by Dr. Phil Hockberger an AVP from the Office of Research at Northwestern University, who is visiting McMaster to share his experience with developing a sustainable, university-wide ‘core facility’ model for research.
I have a meeting with Sue Becker, Professor, Department of Psychology Neuroscience & Behaviour who is also a member of my McMaster IT Strategy Steering Committee.
I have a meeting with the folks from EAB tomorrow to hear what they are doing for the campus environment.
- I have a meeting with Essential Accessibility tomorrow to hear what they have to offer related to web accessibility tools and capabilities.
- I am attending my step-daughter Kate’s graduation ceremony at Western University on Wednesday! 🙂
- I am attending the keynote at the Great Canadian Data Centre Symposium on Thursday AM at MIP.
- I am on vacation on Friday – heading to NYC for some fun with friends!
- I am off to CanHEIT on Sunday – I am going to be engaged in a number of activities while there – our aspiring IT Leaders professional development program, CUCCIO meetings, and 3 presentations with colleagues. Should be a busy week! I will be out of the office all of next week and then back on June 25.
Have a great week, everyone!