This morning I had my first opportunity to address the Stony Brook Council and share with them a bit about the work we do here at the University. I didn’t want to do a standard, “this is IT” update so I tried to share with them a handful of contemporary challenges we face every day across higher education and talk briefly about how we are addressing them. I wanted them to see IT in a different light, as what it really is — an enabler of success on our campus.
To that end I focused my remarks on a few core areas that I thought they might be less likely to associated with IT — teaching and learning, enabling access, security issues, and how we are helping to push the Operational Excellence agenda forward. I tried to keep it light, but also express how much we do to support the teaching, research, service, and administrative missions of the University. I’d be happy to share the presentation either face to face or online at some point.
The talking points for the above slide really made an impact — people don’t think of the utter scale of connectivity we manage every minute on and around our campus. I pointed out that it isn’t just laptops anymore, that it is also phones, tablets, game systems, google glass, and other things consuming our connections throughout the day and night. I think it really hit home just how critical the network is when showed a slide that listed some of the other services that run on the network — door access, ticket sales, security cameras, digital signage, and more.
The other thing that was an interesting was to see the overall reaction to our focus on teaching and learning. They were very impressed with our participation and support of the first SBU MOOC … and I made sure to highlight bot the higher than normal completion rates and the unique local and distance students taking the course. I think it really illustrated how innovative we are. The other tidbit I made sure got in there was the rapid growth in technology supported classrooms … I made the case that technology is truly a competitive advantage on a campus, sometimes tipping a student towards enrolling here.
All in all I felt it was a good conversation and a good way to introduce our work to the Stony Brook Council.