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2016 MOR Leaders Conference: Reimagining IT

On Tuesday, June 14 the 2016 MOR Leaders Conference was held remotely across the country with 26 universities, and 1200 participants. At Cornell the conference was held in 226 Weill Hall where 50 Cornell employees participated in the conference that focused on the topic of “Reimagining IT as University Needs and Technology Evolve.”

Participants discussed trends and themes that higher education is experiencing and how these forces and trends are impacting our own university and technology. Trends such as cost, user experience, cloud, security, vision, and streamlining services were mentioned.

Next, CIO’s from the University of Iowa, Case Western Reserve University, St. Louis, and University of Wisconsin – Madison shared trends that impacted their schools and how they formed strategies around those trends to cope in an environment that is full of constant change.

After hearing about other universities strategies participants brainstormed ways that they have seen progress and opportunity; as well as actions needed to take to integrate, reimagine, and bring about the evolution of IT. Cornell participants shared the progress they think we have made with the wide use of Office 365 and Box; the opportunities we have around the IT@Cornell framework; and actions that we could take to encourage more growth including spaces to collaborate; like conferences, brown bag lunches, and leadership programs.

“This conference gives us the unique opportunity to hear from many other University IT departments about how they are dealing with the fast pace of change in IT,” said Gabriel Plaine, IT Support Associate at Cornell University Library IT. “Hearing of the struggles and opportunities that have come from having to deal with leadership change, Cloud migrations, security, and all the other IT trends discussed, allowed me to feel like we are all going through this together, Cornell is not alone. If we can learn to work together more effectively, both at Cornell and in partnership with other universities, we will become stronger, move with more agility and become even more successful than we are today.”

Bill Clebsch, Associate Vice President for IT Services at Stanford and Larry Conrad, Associate Vice Chancellor afor IT and CIO at Berkeley made closing remarks at the conference.

“The workforce is changing” Clebsch said. “We are no longer going to be builders, we are going to be integrators.”

Conrad added “None of us can define ourselves by what we are doing; we have to think about what we are value adding to the institution.”

Cornell’s participants left the conference inspired to continue building relationships and trust, while dedicated to making positive changes to help reinvent IT.

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