Welcome to the new school year! Fall on campus brings so much excitement. For me, this new school year is especially exciting because this will be my first at Northeastern University. In the short time that I’ve been here, I’ve hit the ground learning about the great work that ITS and others around campus have been doing and how we can take it to a higher level. We’ve spent the past couple of months beginning to implement some changes to get us there.
The most noticeable of these changes for many of you may be the redesign of its.northeastern.edu that we launched last week and a new look for our ticketing emails that we rolled out over the summer. ITS is transforming the customer experience and how we deliver technology solutions and services — these visual improvements are only the first steps in our journey.
What may be less obvious than the visual changes we’ve made, but just as important, is our commitment to engaging with the Northeastern community. One of the first things that I did upon my arrival in July was to create this site to increase the visibility and openness of the office, to share my ideas and priorities with the community, and to offer a place to interact. I welcome you to keep up and connect with me here.
Another one of my top priorities is our alignment with the Northeastern 2025 vision. This means thinking mobile/digital/cloud first when it comes to the technology and the solutions that we support. Our students, faculty, and staff are becoming more mobile, which means they need more modern and agile technology to connect with their peers, the Northeastern community, and their more global networks. The Office 365 suite is a perfect example of how cloud technology can help us teach, learn, and work more efficiently and collaboratively, no matter where we are. If you’re not already getting the most out of Office 365, I encourage you to give it a try. I am committed to further integrating digital and online technologies that will better support the future of teaching, learning, and scholarship as outlined in Northeastern 2025.
ITS is at the ready to work with IT staff, campus partners, and the broader university community on innovative and collaborative initiatives. Several of these have been underway this summer. One, Husky Helper, is a team effort with the Office of Student Affairs and nPowered. I’m sure many of you have seen the Amazon Echo Dot devices across campus that have been designed to answer common questions and bring access to campus events via a voice controlled interface. This is really only the start of the work we will be doing with the Husky Helper and the teams are hard at work to add functionality that will continue to be released over time.
Something else that ITS has been working on this summer is the AR/VR/360 Pop-up Lab inside the Discovery Lab at Snell Library. Based on a similar lab in the College of Arts, Media and Design, this pop-up is an experiment in how new media such as augmented and virtual reality can play a role in teaching and learning, and inspire immersive classroom experiences that are scalable and accessible.
I would love to hear your ideas for the next campus partnership to advance innovative technologies that achieve the vision set forth in Northeastern 2025.
None of these changes and initiatives would be possible without our ITS staff. The IT professionals we have are pretty special and we hope that our newsletter and other communications coming out of my office help to highlight their work. I’d also like to point out that there are many IT professionals located throughout the university. I will be spending time getting to know our IT colleagues across campus as I think we are all working to advance our great university. To achieve our vision, we need to be working toward the same goals and feel valued at the institution.
While I am discovering a great organization, there is a lot of untapped potential for making ITS more visible and vital to the overall mission of the university. I want to hear your feedback on what we are doing and how we can continue to improve. I read and respond to all of my blog comments; feel free to leave some below. If you see me on campus, please stop me to share your thoughts. I hope that you do. Have a great semester and I look forward to working with all of you!