There is a lot changing in the higher-education environment. And these changes are having an impact across our institutions. In the technology area cloud-based applications such as Workday, Box.com and Canvas are reducing the need for on-site data centers, and the technical staff that supported locally hosted systems. The need for institutionally-supplied desktop workstations decreases as students and faculty prefer to bring their own tablets, smart phones and other computing devices. At the same time teaching is becoming increasingly technology dependent with TEAL classrooms, flipped instruction models and online-based learning. The job of our information technology departments is shifting. The traditional task as keeper of the computer infrastructure is rapidly becoming irrelevant, while our communities increasingly look to us for answers to meet these strategic challenges.
1985, Queens College, New York City is where my own career in higher-education began. In this first phase I worked in operations and event management, gaining experience in a broad range of campus functions – building management, budgeting, financial management, facility planning. When 2,000 people are showing up for a concert at 8pm that evening, and you are responsible for having the ushers, stage crew, custodians, and other elements ready to start things on time, you learn to plan, adapt quickly, solve problems creatively and work effectively with your staff. Designing and teaching classes for the Yale School of Drama and Quinnipiac University, I have first-hand experience with the challenges and frustrations facing faculty. As a graduate student in both an online university, and more traditional physical campus, I also have a student’s perspective. These experiences, and the skills gained from them, inform my work with our Yale campus partners, and my interest in exploring leadership in higher education.