AVP & CTO Update, May 21 2018
Good morning everyone from Sunny Sudbury
I am here for the OHEIT conference until Wednesday night – I will be back in the office on Thursday. I came up a day early to hang out with a friend of mine and had an amazing time wandering around Ramsey Lake, where Laurentian University sits (see pic attached). It is really lovely here. And it actually felt like summer…including people out on seadoos, paddle boards, etc. I should have packed some sun screen.
What I learned last week:
- I read an article in the Daily News announcing that McMaster University has been inducted as a member of the Universitas 21 (U21), a leading global network of research-intensive universities. This is exciting news! You can learn all about it.
- I spent the better part of the week in Toronto at the Gartner CIO Summit. It was a very full and informative conference and there were many exciting and interesting sessions. Kevin, Amanda, Richard and Paula also attended. Lots of fuel to keep us thinking! Two of the keynotes were really outstanding and even though I don’t have the exact recordings, I have found videos that will give you a taste of each – both are over 40Mins I believe:
- Salim Ismail is the author of Exponential Organizations (which I am now reading!) and also a co founder of Singularity University. He had a lot to say about the future, and the massive disruptions that are in play right now and will alter our economy and social structures. It was a good news story (remember the Race Against the Machine book I read a few months back). He talks about Exponential Organizations or ExO as those “whose impact or output is dis-proportionally large – at least 10x larger – compared to its peers because of the use of new organizational techniques that leverage accelerating technologies”. Apple, Tesla, Uber… I had a chance to meet and chat with Salim and have him sign a copy of his book for me. He says that academia is probably the hardest kind of organization to turn towards an ExO – but maybe we can try! Enjoy this video to learn more and I will finish the book and make it available – I think we should all read it.
- The other amazing and quite touching keynote was with Platon. I won’t say more than that – you have to watch it to get it, so I found a video of him at another event that is pretty similar – enjoy!
- Welcome aboard to Tanya Reid, who has officially been with us for a solid week. We had our first meeting after I returned from TO and it seems like she is off to the races with lots of meetings already. Tanya is currently tucked into 202 with Amanda and will move into the new AVP and CTO office space with us when we move down the hall. firstname.lastname@example.org – find a chance to introduce yourself. You will get a chance to meet her in person at the next All Staff, too. But why wait?
- Tanya, Amanda and I met with Meghan Kirwin to work out some details and timelines for the McMaster IT Strategic Plan over the next few months as well as UTS activities where Meghan will be involved. There will be a number of communications coming out this week to highlight some of these, however here are some key dates to take note of and that we will enter into your calendars very soon:
- on June 4, 6, 7 and 11 we will be scheduling two hour IT Strategic Planning sessions that Meghan will facilitate to provide the campus IT Community with a chance to come together and be directly involved in elements of the IT Strategic Planning process. I encourage you all to try to attend only ONE of the sessions, please. There will be communications going out to UTS and the rest of the IT community to try to engage as many folks as we can in these.
- On July 26 (changed from earlier in July) we will have the UTS summer celebration day – which will start with a session that Meghan will facilitate for us, then lunch, and then end with UTS team activities. More details to follow very soon! Joanie is undertaking the planning on this – thanks Joanie!
- Dale Askey is leaving the institution! You know Dale through his work as the Associate University Librarian, Library & Learning Technologies. He sits on our IISC standing committee within IT Governance and has been instrumental in the recent Research Experts project amongst many other activities. Dale is taking on an exciting new role at the University of Alberta as the Vice-Provost (Learning Services) and Chief Librarian. While very sad to see Dale go, I am thrilled for him and know you will join me in congratulating him on this great opportunity.
My book of the week:
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. This has won a number of awards – it was on Canada Reads so perhaps some of you heard about it. I thought it was excellent – unique, apocalyptic and engrossing. Not quite as disturbing as The Road – and takes place in Ontario. I highly recommend it. Fast read.
What I am up to this week:
- I will be at OHEIT for Tuesday and Wednesday and return to the office on Thursday. I will try to tweet some of the conference highlights.
- I am meeting with Rocco Piro (CSU), Jacy Lee (AVP IRA), Melanie Garaffa (HR), and the CEO of ORION Alfonso Licata.
- I have a meeting to discuss CISCO licenses, with Richard and Paula, and our CISCO reps.
- I have another McMaster IT Strategic Planning session in preparation for the next Steering Committee meeting on May 31
- I am continuing with Annual Reviews with members of my direct team
Have a super week – it looks like great weather!