AVP & CTO Update October 15, 2018
Good morning everyone
The leaves are hitting their prime colouring now and I am pleased that I got to spend some time outdoors on the weekend enjoying the sunshine and the colours. I was in Kingston, and by coincidence was able to watch our Women’s Rugby team take on the Queen’s Gaels in their semi final match. Unfortunately we lost the game, however I have a much better understanding of Rugby and it was a great fall day for sitting outside and cheering on the team. There is so much energy amongst the players and the spectators.It was my first Mac sporting event – other than seeing the marching band at the Raptors game last December – which may not count. 🙂
The Campus student information system 9.2.7 upgrade was completed over the weekend! There was a phenomenal amount of work in the planning of this upgrade over the last year and I am sure that all involved are relieved to have completed the actual upgrade. I do want to share my appreciation and congratulations with all of the individuals involved in the planning as well as the execution and testing of this upgrade. It was a very big and complex project. For many of you, it meant working extra hours and on weekend(s) and I have no doubt that there have been some stressful moments along the way. Take a bow, everyone! I don’t have everyone’s name to insert here, however we will find a way to recognize you all. I have already shared your success with the Provost and VP Admin.
This is an excellent example of teamwork and the role we play as part of a larger team on campus: it takes individuals from the business and academic areas as well as those in IT to contribute to a project of this magnitude. And thank you to Sophia Holness for her leadership throughout this past year – balancing operational activities and other projects while continuing to encourage and support her team members and clients. Throughout the year she continued to calmly assure us all that things were going to go smoothly. And they have. And for the rest of us, please take any opportunity to high five those involved. Any individual or team’s success is a success for all of us and something worth celebrating.
What I learned last week:
- I will start with the IT Forum, Connectivity2018. I want to extend my sincere congratulations and thanks to the committee who made it all happen – please see their names below. I was very pleased with the great participation and happy, engaged interactions between members of the IT community. The food was great, the speed learning was great, I hear the other presentations were great…and I was pleased to share the draft strategic plan and to hear people’s reactions. There were a number of questions submitted for discussion that we will take up in the sessions we are planning for later this fall and through other means. All in all a very good event – so again, deep thanks to all of these good people:
IT Forum committee:
Greg Atkinson, Science
Jamie Kaushal, Science
Katrina Espanol-Miller, Humanities
Marta Prancho, Registrar’s Office
Meighan Colterjohn, FHS
Jason Lamb, FHS
Bob Stacey, CSU
Barb Halliday, CSU
James Dietrich, CSU
Stephen Olaizola, CSU
Chris McAllister, Library
Bryan Czerneda, UTS
Gerry Gysbers, UTS
Marzena Kielar, UTS
Katie Millar, HR
Katrina Spotts, PR
Amanda Lee Baldwin, Office of the AVP&CTO
Gicel Cartagena, Office of the AVP&CTO
Tanya Reid, Office of the AVP&CTO
- I met with Roger, David and Linda, as well as Umer, to discuss the various budget documents I am preparing for submission. I have been given some additional recommendations and input and will be working on my final revisions. The documents are due on Monday, October 22.
- I flew to Ottawa Thursday night after the IT Forum for meetings on Friday. I was with the other U15 CIOs, as well as the Executive Director for CUCCIO and others representing our security Special Interest Group. We met with the Academic Outreach team from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), representatives from the Community Security Establishment (CSE) and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and Innovation, as well as Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), to discuss the national cyber security threat landscape and to share what we are doing across our organizations and institutions to mitigate these challenges. The intent was to gain awareness and knowledge on both sides. Of course we are hoping there may be some concrete outcomes that will assist our ongoing efforts. There is a lot of discussion and activity in the cyber security space right now.
- Following the security meetings, the CIOs from University of Toronto, University of Regina, University of Ottawa, and I met for a few hours to chat about a variety of topics. UofOttawa CIO Martin Bernier is quite new to the sector so it was good to get to know him a bit better and to share experiences and perspectives with him.
- As a result of the IT Forum, Thanksgiving Monday, and my travels to Ottawa on Friday, there wasn’t much time to accumulate any additional learning! I did have some regular meetings on Tuesday and also met with a couple of vendors to discuss service opportunities, and all in all it was a very quick week.
What I read last week:
- Mindset by Carol Dweck. Someone recommended this book to me and I am very glad. The whole book discusses the differences between Growth and Fixed mindsets and the way these influence our lives and experiences. It also explores various ways for fostering growth mindsets in ourselves and others – family, children, co workers, etc. – as you can always develop a growth mindset and be open to developing, adapting and improving. The book is full of examples and stories to illustrate. It was all very fascinating and so applicable.
What I am up to this week:
- I am in Toronto today to attend the ORION second quarter Board of Directors meetings. I have been appointed as a new member of the ORION Board of Directors and this will be my first meeting. It is followed by the ORION Annual General Meeting. I will return to Guelph tonight.
- Tuesday is chock a block meetings starting at 9 AM with the Degroote School of Business and ending with my attendance at the IT Student Advisory Committee meeting where I will have a chance to discuss the McMaster IT Strategic Plan.
- I have Provost Council on Wednesday AM – the President will be in attendance. This happens at least once a semester.
- The new CIO from Dalhousie will be in town on Wednesday and I plan to host him for lunch and some discussions.
- The rest of my time this week will be in regular update meetings with colleagues and team members, and also finalizing those budget documents!
It looks like we are in for every kind of weather this week – fall has definitely arrived. Take care everyone and enjoy!