Davidson College

Consistently ranked among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, Davidson College is a highly selective, independent, residential, liberal-arts college located in Davidson, North Carolina, close to the city of Charlotte. The college serves approximately 2,000 undergraduate students.

Chief Information Officer

As a member of the President’s Executive Staff (PES), responsible for overseeing the technology infrastructure of the campus and advancing the college’s mission by fostering innovation and excellence in teaching and learning, and all that supports it.

Institutional service includes:

  • Member, Capital Budget Working Group. 2016-present.
  • Member, Academic Technology Committee (faculty committee). 2016-present.
  • Member, Classroom Design Committee. 2016-2017.

Major accomplishments in this role include:

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Conceived of and advocated for the transformation of Information Technology Services to Technology and Innovation, establishing the division as an institution-wide partner with ‘enabling innovation across the college’ as a critical part of its mission.
  • Conducted a significant restructuring of the IT division, including reorganization of the departments, realignment of existing positions, hiring of new personnel, and renovation of office space to create an open, collaborative work environment.
  • Led the development of The Hub@Davidson, a cutting-edge, LEED-certified facility that will connect the college and regional community around innovation and entrepreneurship. Wrote the business plan and financial model, oversaw facility design, crafted the inaugural program (Research, Data + Design, or R+D2), formed critical partnerships, and secured funding for the building upfit.
  • Oversaw a skunkworks project — completed in one month — to evaluate the college’s administrative organizational structure and identify ways to optimize it.
  • Co-authored a collaborative NSF Campus Cyberinfrastructure (CC*) grant proposal for a shared cyber team to support computationally-intensive research across nine liberal arts institutions in five states.

Technical and Project Management

  • Completed a comprehensive evaluation of the college’s ERP, Banner, which identified system and process improvement opportunities in the student, finance, and human resources areas, and began implementing improvements, including moving the previously manual position budgeting process into Banner.
  • Modernized technology infrastructure, including overhauling identity and access management; upgrading storage; moving from local file storage to Dropbox; and implementing Zoom for web conferencing, ZenDesk for service management, and Salesforce.com for IT constituent management.
  • Supported first virtual reality (VR) experiments, leading to the creation of a VR lab, use of VR in courses, and opportunities for students to do VR work with external partners.
  • Partnered with a local big data company to leapfrog older technologies and move straight to a data lake/next-generation BI environment, built on Hadoop. (in progress)
  • Piloted robotics process automation (RPA) to automate a manual payroll process, streamlining the business process and resulting in one day per week of time savings.

Communication and Collaboration

  • Created a visual identity for — and led the re-branding of — ITS, generating high-quality and consistent communications, collateral, presentations, t-shirts, and more.
  • Evaluated IT governance models and created a Technology Stewardship Council, with cross-institutional representation, to address unmet governance needs.
  • Partnered with the Academic Technology Committee (faculty-led) to define and socialize the idea of digital dexterity for faculty, and develop a process for academic software purchases (in progress).
  • Built a mobile and user-friendly IT support center for self-service and system status, leading to a significant uptick in knowledge base searches and individual self-help.
  • Created a comprehensive “Play It Safe Davidson” campaign for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) to improve users’ security practices, including a campaign website, weekly emails, ‘snack and learn’ series, security self-assessment, and points-based competition.
  • Introduced agile methods into the division to improve communication and collaboration, including daily stand-up meetings for individual teams, and a weekly, 15-minute stand-up for the entire division.