AVP & CTO Update October 29, 2018
I saw snow on the weekend – not a lot of it, but it was there all the same. I will have my snow tires on as of October 31, at which time I will accept whatever comes from the sky (hopefully NOT cats and dogs). And I am guessing that what will actually happen is warmer weather, simply BECAUSE I have the winter tires on…so enjoy! 🙂
What I learned last week:
- I thought you might find of interest this survey response summary from Campus Technology that ranks institutions’ ‘best technology’ on campus. It is a small sample set and based in the US, but these are the technologies that education professionals have an affinity for – helping them to deliver on their mandate to support the mission of their institutions. Mobile app development tools, tools for supporting student experiences, and productivity software are the favourites.
- Here is another study, from EDUCAUSE, that discusses students and their use of technology.
- I spent Friday watching my stepson graduate twice! One degree from Wilfred Laurier (Business) and one degree from Waterloo (Math) – two convocations in one day. The outcome of a double degree. I am super proud. One of my favourite pictures from the event is attached.
- I attended two IT Governance meetings – IISC and TLTC. Good conversations at both. No immediate items moving forward to IT Executive. Notes from these meetings will be posted in the Confluence site.
- The next CUCCIO meeting is coming up in November and I spent time last week fine tuning our plans for the professional development program that takes place the day before the CUCCIO meeting starts. We have been piloting this program for aspiring CIOs this meeting will mark the end of a full year of programming. We will then gather input from the participants (Richard is one!) to evaluate the program and make a recommendation to the CUCCIO board as to whether we should continue it or not.
- A small group of us met with Melanie Garaffa to discuss the Admin Division employment equity plan and survey and to discuss current and future activities related to employment equity and diversity. More will be shared in upcoming meetings.
- And just when you thought the budget documents were complete… there were additional revisions to complete. These are officially being handed in today – October 29. Thanks to Umer who has been getting to know our budget very very well in these relatively early days of his time with us.
- I met with the Steering Committee for the short Graduate Admission project that took place over the summer. This project is now complete and the final close out documents will be forthcoming soon. A new larger project to undertake more changes to Grad Admissions is about to launch as well.
- The 6 ‘smaller’ Campus Student system projects that have been adapted from the old ‘list of 22’ are in various states of planning and activity. We have formalized these into projects so they can be better tracked and a number of them will be officially launched soon, although some work has been undertaken on them already. These projects will continue to keep our Campus Student team busy!
- I met with Kathy Denny to learn how the IT Services Review gathered information for their IT Budget assessment activities that were part of the review process. I am gathering information so I can start to think about the enterprise wide IT budget initiative that is part of the McMaster IT Strategic Plan. Early days but good to gather information and resources to help determine what needs to be done. I will be assisted by Joanie and Umer on this project – and of course there will be broad engagement on campus. I don’t expect to move this forward in earnest until early 2019.
What I read last week:
I am now on a mission to finish the Alan Bradley books …I am trying to binge through them:
- The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches and The Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust – both by Alan Bradley. I really do wonder how he comes up with some of the material – it is fascinating.
What I have scheduled for this week:
- Tanya and I are attending the Directors of Finance and Admin meeting this afternoon.
- UTS’ monthly staff meeting is on Tuesday.
- I am meeting with Bruce Wainman, a faculty member and researcher from the Faculty of Health Sciences, to learn about some of the technologies he is using and also to learn about an anatomy conference he is hosting in November that I am planning to attend at his recommendation – it will have a number of interesting sessions related to AR/VR/AI.
- We have the Enterprise Applications Technology Committee meeting on Tuesday AM and the Research Technology Committee on Thursday AM. I will be presenting on the draft McMaster IT Strategic Plan at both meetings.
- I am attending the Council of Ontario Universities meeting in TO on Thursday along with a number of other Ontario Higher Ed CIOs to present on security related matters.
- I have a scheduled call with the CIO from Humber, Scott Briggs, to learn more about what they have been doing with digital spaces.
- I meet with Sandra McWilliams, our Project Manager for the Identity Management project – she started with us last week.
- I am attending a Celebration of Research Dinner at Liuna Station on Thursday evening with Vivian Lewis, our University Librarian.
- I will be recording answers to many questions about the McMaster IT Strategic Plan that were posed at the IT Forum so that we can post those in the near future.
- I am getting winter tires on my car! That will either keep the snow at bay, or bring it on.
- I am also hoping to see the new movie about Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody. I am a big fan since childhood and have been very excited about this since I saw the trailer! (Turn down the volume before you click on the link unless you have your head phones on/in – in which case you should TURN IT UP!!) There are a few good YouTube documentaries on Queen worth watching if you want to learn more about them before the movie comes out.
And with that, I wish you a great week, one and all. I imagine we will see a few zombies and witches before it is over.