Random musings & pics from the EDUCAUSE 2012 Annual Conference in Denver

Miscellaneous photos from the conference:

Random, informal (and not always interesting, I'll admit) comments about the conference week...

Well, taking Super Shuttle in the evening from Denver International was certainly an interesting experience. Each driver seemed to have a different means of loading the shuttle. One driver took only people with yellow tickets, the next only took people who had a specific time written on their tickets, and yet another took those with tickets under a certain number.

The highlight of the evening was running into +Patrick Berry  (http://www.educause.edu/members/patrick-berry) while waiting for a shuttle. Otherwise, I got to the hotel too late to get together with +Chris Spadanuda (http://www.educause.edu/members/chris-spadanuda) as originally planned.

Started out bright and early at 8am to attend the RUCC (Research University CIO Conclave) meeting (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/MTG65). I'm honored to have been invited to join this group.

Met with +Keith McIntosh (http://www.educause.edu/members/keith-w-mcintosh) to work on our Wednesday presentation. He and I hadn't yet met each other in person, although we've been part of each others' social networks for a while. We agreed to meet at the EDUCAUSE Registration Desk, and couldn't find each other for 40 minutes. This is rather embarrassing... I mean really, how difficult could it be for an African-American male and Asian female to spot each other at an EDUCAUSE conference?

I had a very pleasant lunch with Lynn Latimer Wilson (http://www.educause.edu/members/lynn-latimer-wilson) from the University of Georgia, who I'd just met.

Next, I attended the CIO Constituent Group meeting (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/DISC01), led by the amazing +Theresa Rowe (http://www.educause.edu/members/theresa-rowe). Here are my notes from the session: 

Now that the CIO Lounge (a pic I took here: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/PZtDuywCo8b) was open, I wandered in. It was almost disappointing this year to walk in and not feel as if I was sneaking in as I did last year. ;-)

Later in the afternoon, I met with Colin Currie (http://www.educause.edu/members/colin-currie), Erv Blythe (http://www.educause.edu/members/earving-l-blythe), David Swartz (http://www.educause.edu/members/david-g-swartz), Tim Chester (http://www.educause.edu/members/timothy-m-chester), and Diana Oblinger (http://www.educause.edu/members/diana-oblinger) to rehearse for the awards  portion of the General Session program on Wednesday. Hilarity ensued when it was realized that the other speakers were all at least a foot taller than me. Voila! A wooden box for me to stand on behind the podium appeared. :-)

That evening, I attended the EDUCAUSE Recognition Reception (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/MTG24). Various groups were represented, including the EDUCAUSE Board (http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/educause-board-directors), the 2012 Conference Program Committee (http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/member-committees/educause-2012-program-committee), the EDUCAUSE Recognition Committee (http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/member-committees/recognition-committee), representatives from the major sponsors, and representatives from other international and education groups. Here's a pic from the reception - unfortunately I didn't think to take one until the end when a number of people had already left: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/YfvJbVUfWuP Erv, David and I also received nice, but quite heavy, awards from EDUCAUSE. Thankfully, +Julie K. Little (http://www.educause.edu/members/julie-little) said that they'd ship them. Phew!

A little after 7am I stopped by the CIO Lounge for breakfast - I tried to eat healthy food. Does trying count? :-)

Then I headed to the General Session, which was preceded by the awards ceremony. Here's a pic of the "green room" (which is actually gray) in which we prepped: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/Le3NMj3f4Sb

We moved from the green room to seats backstage to wait for each of our turns onstage. It was pretty odd seeing the projected images from the back of the backdrop. Colin did a really good job of translating the mirror image of the words from behind the backdrop while we were backstage. And yes, I thought that standing on the wood box onstage behind the podium was hysterically funny as well. :-)

I'm very honored to have received this year's EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award. As I noted in my (hopefully short) talk, I couldn't have gotten to where I am without many, many mentors who have helped me along the way... this is their award. I'm flattered that so many people have been willing to give of themselves to help me through my career.

Here's the link to the General Session:  http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/GS01 (video stream is publicly available at this page). Clay Shirky gave a great general session talk. I've read both of his books, and although I don't necessarily agree with all of his ideas, I appreciate that his ideas are provocative and make people think. The Program Committee had seats up front in the neck-breaker row :-) for each of the three general sessions. At least that meant I was able to see the speakers close up rather than have to resort to watching them on the video screens.

Later in the morning, +Keith McIntosh, +Pablo Molina  (http://www.educause.edu/members/pablo-garcia-molina) and I gave our presentation, "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics About Diversity in Higher Education" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/SESS006).

I had a very nice lunch in the Exhibit Hall with  +Pete Hoffswell (http://www.educause.edu/members/pete-hoffswell) and Kathy Lang (http://www.educause.edu/members/kathy-lang). It was great catching up with Kathy and hearing how things are going at Marquette University.

After eating lunch, I walked over to see the poster sessions, particularly to stop by the poster session presented by two of my former UW-Milwaukee colleagues, +Paula Brossard (http://www.educause.edu/members/paula-brossard)  and +Wendy Luljak  (http://www.educause.edu/members/wendy-luljak),  "In Perfect Harmony: The Pivotal Role of Communications in Successful IT Project Management" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/PS039). Here's a pic of the poster sessions entrance that I took: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/QVaytGFfr5E

I then met with vendor representatives from Aegis Identity Software (http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/2012/exhibitor/aegis-identity-software) in the afternoon. We're going to be deploying their TridentHE product, and UO's CIO (*cough, cough*) was feeling micromanage-y enough to want to speak to the company regarding their business and roadmap.

Later that afternoon, I attended the Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/BRK09) and did a circuit of the Exhibit Hall to note the vendor booths I wanted to see later in the week. I then met with some other first-time CIOs, including Carolyn Weaver (http://www.educause.edu/members/carolyn-weaver), new CIO at Des Moines University, +Keith McIntosh  and +Dewitt Latimer  (http://www.educause.edu/members/dewitt-latimer) to have a celebratory drink. That evening I had a really nice dinner with my former UWM colleagues, +Paula Brossard, +Mark Rank  (http://www.educause.edu/members/mark-rank), and +Chris Spadanuda. Here's a blurry pic of my dinner, in case anyone actually cares about that sort of thing: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/HcPZmWkgxhP

First thing in the morning, I gave the presentation associated with the Rising Star Award. EDUCAUSE indicated that I could speak on whatever topic I wished (well, I assume there are some limits ;-)). Since I owe so much to what I've learned from mentors, I chose to give a presentation on "The Importance of Mentors on the Journey to a First CIO Position" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/SESS017). I've uploaded the slide deck for the presentation (go to the Resources tab), and the webcast is supposed to be available at some point to registered conference attendees. 

Right after the presentation, I attended the AEGISS Committee meeting as its incoming committee chair (http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/member-committees/advisory-group-enterprise-information-systems-and-). Many thanks to Geof Corb (http://www.educause.edu/members/geoffrey-corb), the departing chair, for his work on the committee! Here's my (scanty) notes from the meeting: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/gRAkE1v2WtY

Mid-morning, I attended the Thursday General Session, "Blueprint for Change in an Era of Rapid Reinvention" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/GS02 - publicly available video at the link) with Christine Flanagan and Elliott Masie (with really wild-colored shoes!). I really enjoyed this general session as well. Both speakers made really interesting points about changes needed to support learners and employers going forward.

After the general session, I had lunch in the Exhibit Hall with others such as +Jim Phelps  (http://www.educause.edu/members/james-phelps) and +Helen Chu   (http://www.educause.edu/members/helen-chu). Elliott Masie stopped and sat at our table - he's really fascinating to listen to!

I then rushed off to meet with +Gerry Bayne  (http://www.educause.edu/members/gerry-bayne) to record an interview on the topic of diversity in higher ed for possible use in an EDUCAUSE video. Getting interviewed by Gerry, whether audio or video, is a lot of fun because he's such a pro and makes you feel really comfortable during the process.

For a part of the afternoon, I joined +Micah Sardell (http://www.educause.edu/members/micah-sardell) so he could introduce me to representatives from some of the vendors we work with at UO, including NetApp (http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/2012/exhibitor/netapp) and VMware (http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/2012/exhibitor/vmware).

In mid-afternoon I attended the Frye Leadership Institute Reunion (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/MTG43), which pulled together Frye Fellows from each year. Starting with the 2013 class, Frye will have a new name, the Leading Change Institute (http://leadingchangeinstitute.org/).

Next stop was the meeting for the EDUCAUSE 2012 and EDUCAUSE 2013 Program Commitees (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/MTG56). This meeting was the chance for the 2012 Program Committee to debrief about the conference to provide information to the 2013 Program Committee. I wish the 2013 committee the best over the next year - serving on the annual program committee is a lot of fun! For one thing, each committee meets twice in the EDUCAUSE Washington, DC, offices in order to plan the conference. Here are my rough notes from the meeting: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/LasCRdq1Rb8

After the meeting, I met with +Pumpkin Yang (http://www.educause.edu/members/catherine-yang) about a blog that I'll be writing for EDUCAUSE. At this point I think I'll start with blog entries about the experience of working towards a first CIO position in higher ed, then transition at some point to the experience of being a first-time CIO.

That evening I went to dinner with Bruce Maas (http://www.educause.edu/members/bruce-maas), one of the most influential mentors in my life. Bruce is a wonderful, giving person to whom I owe much.

After grabbing some food in the CIO Lounge (nice touch having snacks there, btw), I attended the session, "Scaling a Higher Education Enterprise Electronic Content Management System" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/SESS140), presented by Robert Hensz (http://www.educause.edu/members/robert-hensz) and Judith Lewis (http://www.educause.edu/members/judith-h-lewis). Here are my notes from the session: https://plus.google.com/106468757175189544923/posts/CuWY8BkyLnE

Next I co-presented with three individuals who I've admired since early in my IT career, Marilu Goodyear (http://www.educause.edu/members/marilu-goodyear), Pattie Orr (http://www.educause.edu/members/pattie-orr), and Joanne Kossuth (http://www.educause.edu/members/joanne-m-kossuth). Our presentation was called, "Land That Job! Preparing to Interview For Your First CIO Position" (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/SESS149 - the slide deck can be found under the Resources tab). It was an honor to be on the same stage as these talented professionals! I guess there are a lot of people interested in CIO positions, as the room was packed.

Finally, the conference wrapped up with the third General Session, "Discovery in a Digital World," presented by Ed Ayers (http://www.educause.edu/events/E12/GS03 - publicly available video at this link). Dr. Ayers is a very dynamic speaker, and spoke passionately about digital environments and the importance of the humanities.

I really enjoyed the conference, though I've noticed that over the years of attending EDUCAUSE, each year I am able to attend fewer and fewer presentations. Instead my time seems to be increasingly occupied with committee meetings or other EDUCAUSE activities, giving presentations, meeting with vendors, and networking with others. Next year I'm going to make a concerted effort to make time to attend more presentations, as I'm beginning to feel as if I'm missing out on an opportunity to see the work of others.

Leaving the conference, our flight out of Denver changed gates several times. Fortunately I got to spend the time hiking back and forth through the airport in the company of several members of the University of Oregon contingent, +Andrew Bonamici  (http://www.educause.edu/members/andrew-bonamici), +Noreen Hogan  (http://www.educause.edu/members/honora-hogan),  +Patrick Chinn  (http://www.educause.edu/members/patrick-chinn), and +Helen Chu

Thank you very much to the other members of the EDUCAUSE 2012 Program Committee and the EDUCAUSE staff - you all made the work of putting together this year's conference fun! As a program committee member it's really satisfying to see the results of the committee's work.

All the best to the EDUCAUSE 2013 Program Committee (http://www.educause.edu/about/mission-and-organization/governance-and-leadership/member-committees/educause-2013-program-committee)! 

Until next year... 
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