What project are you most proud of, and why?
In 2009, we implemented a “Virtualization First” strategy. At the same time, a seamless move to federated identity management expanded our flexibility.
As a result, we expanded availability beyond our two main data centers and linked in our 16 instructional server rooms to create a dynamic private cloud that allows us to move services seamlessly between sites.
This created a foundation that enabled Lone Star to use cloud services as a strategic advantage. This development quickly moved Lone Star from less than 5-percent virtualization to 93 percent, with $600,000 in CAPEX savings and an additional $800,000 in cost avoidance on our ERP project. Today, we also support 10 hybrid cloud services with others being finalized regularly. In the words of our Chancellor, Dr. Carpenter, “Speed wins,” and this cloud strategy gives us the speed needed to win.
The time to market is exciting, but my proudest moments are when I see how all these technologies actually make a difference in the lives of our students, when we exceed faculty expectations, and when everyone praises my team not only on what they did, but how they did it.
What have been your biggest ed-tech challenges, and how have you overcome these?
Technology doesn’t have to be as challenging as some make it. The first thing we did at Lone Star was to build a partnership with faculty based on mutual respect and trust.
We paid close attention to principles of change management and also created an Executive Client Relations position. My team and I are active members of almost every project and process on campus. Lone Star is an incredibly agile, inventive institution that breaks ground continually, and I am fortunate to participate in many of its strategic initiatives. From international offerings in Vietnam or Brazil to a National Hispanic Achievement initiative, and now to overseeing Lone Star’s sixth college, I enjoy helping drive innovation.