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Video Transcript – Technology, Collaboration, and Sharing in Higher Education

[Max Davis-Johnson, Associate Vice-President and Chief Information Officer]: This is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University, Office of Information Technology.

Today I’m going to talk about technology collaboration and sharing in higher ed. You know, as an industry, in higher ed we share our successes, we share our failures, we share best practices. And it’s not only in technology, it’s in administration, it’s in pedagogy, it’s in research.

You know, it’s just part of our our DNA, and so from a technology standpoint, higher ed is unique from the fact of the breadth and width of the different technologies that we support. You know, we have transactional systems, we have student systems, learning management systems. Our campus network literally has thousands of guests coming in every day bringing their own devices. We have large data sets that we need to ship across the country. There’s a tremendous amount of things that we do in higher ed, and unless you’re Boise State it’s really hard to be an expert in all of them [whispers] (just kidding…) but we’re pretty close.

One of the things that we do in higher ed is that we share technology, we reach out, we share, we engage, and we learn best practices from each other. We understand our successes, our failures, we know what works, and it’s all part of our ecosystem. And a great example of that is WestNet, which actually is going on right now behind me as I speak.

WestNet has been around for 30 years, but basically it consists of networking and infrastructure experts, you know, from higher ed institutions in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico. We get together twice a year and we we share everything. It’s just a really great conference, we’ve been doing it for a while, we’re comfortable with each other and there’s nothing that we won’t ask each other.

But I think one, you know, reason that we share and collaborate is because we’re all mission-based institutions. You know, we’re here to educate, we’re here to increase knowledge through research, and we’re also very engaged in community service which is one of the — like I said — it’s one of the great things about being in higher ed, and it’s one of the great things about being in higher ed technology.

Another good example for us is our recent HCM implementation (HCM: Oracle Human Capital Management) that we’re currently stabilizing. You know, we have reached out to a number of other institutions that are, you know, live on the system and just like us have gone through many of the things that we have done. You know, we’ve reached out to Baylor, you know Wyoming, Vanderbilt…they’ve all helped us, you know, determine best practices, they’ve given us ideas on how to best use the system.

And again, it’s because of the collaborative nature of higher ed, and like I said before, there’s no other industry that collaborates and shares like higher ed does. I’m just proud to be part of this industry. Until next time, thank you.