When I was hired as the Director of Information Technology in 2010, this campus did not have an IT director for the previous three years. I realized most of the campus (certainly most of the students) didn't know what an IT director did, or what the IT director could bring to the campus. So I decided to get out in front of the campus and introduce myself.
I looked back at History for a fun example. Fun Fact: In 1837, President Andrew Jackson's supporters gifted him with a wheel of cheese weighing 1,400 lbs. Jackson put this cheese in the Entrance Hall of the White House and invited the people of the United States to eat it - and thereby meet those who represented them in government. According to White House history, the cheese was consumed in two hours, and the White House smelled of cheese for weeks.
I thought that was a great example to introduce myself to the campus, to meet the students, faculty, and staff - and to talk about what we're planning, and to listen to what you'd like us to focus on. But an IT director handing out cheese and talking about technology isn't a huge attraction, so as an added "draw" (and because of my Scottish ancestry) I wore my kilt! An IT guy in a kilt handing out cheese and talking about technology basically advertises itself.
In 2010 and 2011, I gave away slices from a delicious 12 lb cheddar cheese wheel in the lobby of our Student Center. In 2010, we had quite a bit of leftover cheese; last year, only a small section was left.
Today from 10:00 to noon, we shared a 13 lb wheel of medium-aged cheddar cheese - which you consumed in just over two hours while we chatted about our campus technology. We ran out of cheese just as we ran out of conversation, which is great timing! Several of the topics we discussed today:
- The campus network upgrade
- Zimride ride-sharing
- The campus website
- Mobile initiatives, and mobile apps
- Smart energy use, and our green campus
Many of you stopped by, and I thank you for the great conversation and helpful feedback!