AVP & CTO Update, October 1, 2018
Good morning from Ottawa
I am here for the CANARIE National Summit, preceded by meetings today at the CANARIE head office. I arrived here on Friday night to join a few of my university friends to cheer on Carleton University Ravens at the annual Panda Game against the Ottawa University GeeGees (stands for Grey and Garnet). As Carleton frosh, we attended our very first Panda Game back in 1986 – 32 years ago! It was a fun day and a great walk down memory lane. Sadly the Ravens lost. However the day was a win!
What I learned last week:
- It was a fast and furious week, overlaid with jet lag and a ‘French’ cold! It was also a very rewarding week – the wheels keep on turning. 🙂
- I met with the McMaster IT Strategic Planning Steering Committee on Monday AM. It was an excellent session and reminded me of the importance of steering committees for their wisdom and input into process and goals. We will be continuing to engage with the committee over the next few semesters as we move from planning to implementation. Tanya had some beautiful cookies made with our IT Strategic Plan brand to share with the team to say thank you! I tweeted a pic last week.
- We held two sessions with Faculty members to discuss their future vision for classroom technologies. These sessions were a follow up to the undergraduate faculty course administration focus groups undertaken by Susan Giroux, Vice Provost (Faculty) and Andrea Thret-Kidd from the Provost Office. The sessions had a substantial amount of feedback related to classroom technology and while we will use the report to inform the strategic plan, it was also important to meet with Faculty in person. Our sessions allowed Faculty participants to share their challenges and in turn we encouraged those in attendance to envision the future of classroom technology at McMaster. I was also able to share information about the IT Strategic Plan. This is a priority area in the strategic plan and I anticipate many more conversations as well as activities related to this area of focus.
- I participated in the interviews for the AVP Facilities on Monday afternoon. We were fortunate to have excellent candidates and I look forward to the announcements that will come soon!
- I shared the draft IT Strategic Plan with the UTS Management Team and meet with a few other stakeholders this week to share the plan with them, also – including our VP Research, Karen Mossman.
- A few of us from across various IT areas were invited to participate in a session with the Teaching and Learning Review committee. This process is sponsored by the Provost and the committee is a combination of internal and external reviewers. I believe the wrapped up this past week so there will be a report coming forward in the not too distant future.
- Greg Atkinson was a very patient videographer and director and worked with Tanya to try to capture a few useful snippets of me talking so that we can provide a video for the IT Forum. We learned a few things about the wind, the bus schedules on campus, and my inability to memorize my lines. Thanks, Greg and Tanya, for your patience!
What I read last week:
Time is of the essence so I am sticking to light reading to maintain my weekly intake. I have returned to the Alan Bradley mystery series with Flavia de Luce and finished the second book: The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag
What I will be focused on this coming week:
- As mentioned, I am in Ottawa for the CANARIE National Summit and meetings. The conference is an opportunity to connect with peers from across Canada, but also provides insights into research and new, boundary pushing uses for technology – there are a lot of AI sessions this year, as an example.
- On Thursday I must submit the final UTS Budget documents.
- We have our IT Executive meeting on Thursday – I will be presenting the draft strategic plan to the committee for discussion and endorsement.
- Paul Muir and I will be attending the Audit Committee meeting to share our latest report on IT Security. One item we will be discussing is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – which is now as it is October. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about cyber security and to help foster a safer place for all online. McMaster is once again participating in a number of NCSAM efforts and has several activities planned for the 2018 campaign. You can find out more here.
- I have my biweekly meeting with Roger and David on Thursday.
- I will be hosting an online session on the IT Strategic Plan for UTS on Friday.
A reminder that this coming weekend is already THANKSGIVING!! Already!?! It will be a nice three day break for everyone and just in case I don’t get to say it in person, I wish you and your families a safe and happy long weekend.
Have a great week everyone!