From the Desk of the VP

JBradleyThe Fall 2021 semester is in full swing! I have enjoyed seeing our fellow Bearkats thriving and enjoying regular campus activities and look forward to seeing you around during future events.

I want to begin by noting the retirements of two long-time leaders in IT@Sam.  Mark Adams retired as Vice President of Information Technology after serving Sam for 30 years and Debbie McKerall, our Director of Business Services served Sam for 35 years.  It was a privilege and a pleasure to work with these two wonderful people.

On the theme of Great People, I must tell you how fortunate I feel to work with such a terrific team as the IT team at Sam Houston State.  As we work to build a “One Team” approach in Information Technology, I could not ask for better partners.

The Plan:

I mentioned last month our internal plan for improving IT.  There are four things we are trying to do.

First, we are building a great leadership team who will trust, value and empower the IT team. While the most important part of our team are our individual contributors, my assessment is that we have lacked consistent, strong leadership that are focused on our people and creating clarity and vision for the division.  Do any research on building teams and it will tell you to start by building a great leadership team.

Second, we are focusing on getting the IT fundamentals right.  This is about finding the better way.  An example of this is the work we are doing to ensure both university data centers can support the university by themselves.  We experienced a campus-wide outage because we lost power to one of our two data centers and that’s not okay.  Resiliency is a fundamental value for IT.

Third, we are working to modernize our organization along industry standard lines.  There is a lot of tremendously good work being done in IT but sometimes our processes and systems are homegrown and do not utilize industry best practices. 

Finally, we are building an empowerment culture where every member of our team has permission to do their best work without needing approval.  This is the best way to enable our team to perform and we are working to get barriers out of the way of our great people.

Next month, I’ll discuss our strategy to accomplish our plan.  Thanks for following along! 

James Bradley
Interim Vice President of Information Technology 

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One Mission. One Team. One Sam.