Notes from EDUCAUSE SERC ’13

Here are my random notes from attending EDUCAUSE Southeastern Regional Conference ’13. Please see also my original agenda–these notes are in chronological order from the sessions I attended–and/or the #serc13 twitter feed.

  • “Eduroam” lets you share wireless access across institutions using identity management
  • InCommon has an SSL-issuing service
  • CIOs expected to have technical skills–but for the people the CIO works with, this means PowerPoint and Blackberry font sizing
  • Higher Ed CIOs need advanced degrees–expected by 95% of the people who hire CIOs
  • If you want to get in the door to have strategic conversations, IT needs to be delivering consistent, reliable service
  • Columbus State University’s IT department, on request, will send someone to a meeting to talk at the end of the meeting for 5 minutes about technology e.g. iPads or other tools. Simple publicity for IT and only when asked for
  • Clemson University’s roll-out plan for their training classes had: 1 day of training, 1 week off, 1/2 day training + 1/2 day project work, 2 weeks to work on the project, and then a 2 hr very high profile full group presentation that the whole campus was invited to
  • Personally, I think the “Working as a System” presentation was the best one at the conference, where “best” means the one that had the most opportunity to improve higher ed IT. The Georgia system is doing a lot of really cool stuff about resource-sharing and contract management. Every other state system should talk to them. For example one school’s DBA resigned right before an upgrade and the system found another DBA with the right experience to help for the upgrade. As another example, see EdTech’s “Inside Georgia’s PeachNet Community Cloud” article.
  • “CIOs need to be less like Kirk and more like Picard”
  • IT staff shortages lead to people quitting, which lead to more shortages. Fewer students going into IT. Liberal arts skills particularly relevant for IT–we’re always learning, and need people who are good communicators and who understand how things can work together.
  • Georgia Allen’s and Rob Moore’s presentation, “Building Services and Developing Relationships,”¬†was also really, really good. They basically built a service strategy and service catalog, re-staffed for the new service catalog, and focused on building relationships with their faculty. This was a great “Type-II Higher Ed provider (i.e. departmental IT provider)” session
  • You could use Banner activity codes to code where costs are going by service. P-cards = overhead. POs have activity codes.
  • The “Generations in the Classroom” keynote was really good, too! It highlighted the communications gaps and expectations gaps that tend to appear due to generational differences.