Technology for Business Schools (TBS) Roundtable
Early this month (June 2008) I had the good fortune to be in the company of a lively bunch of technologists who represent the IT leadership of many schools of business from around the nation. At this mini conference (a roundtable) held at the University of Arizona, Tuscon, I was able to appreciate the difficulties faced by this group of kindred spirits struggling to maintain a state-of-the-art, yet, effectively working IT infrastructure for their respective institutions. I sensed a feeling of camaraderie not abundantly present at the typical academic conference. Despite any differences they might have, this group had to literally stick together to survive within a viciously and rapidly changing technological environment and still deliver what their Deans and consumers wanted; even if what they wanted wasn't exactly clear.
I was a newbie in the crowd, having replaced Don Krueger, who I quickly discovered was well known and respected by everyone there. After several conversations with some of the members of the group, trying to fit into Don's big shoes suddenly became a very challenging task. But, people like Jerry (who I discovered is from my homeland), Carol, Eric, Mike and Jim made me feel very welcome and I was able to accomplish many of the goals I set out with coming to the roundtable. Here are some of the more pressing issues that all the members felt was important to them which I share:
1. Finding and keeping good staff
2. Keeping up with emerging technologies
3. Relationship with central IT
4. Declining budgets/rising costs
5. Meeting the needs of faculty and students
I was able to examine many "solutions" to these challenges. In all, it was nice to know that someone else out there is having the same problems you are. Now I know who to call.