When you come to a fork in the road, take it

  • When: 3:00 PM to 3:45 PM, Thursday, June 18
  • Where: Room 104, Kirby Hall of Civil Rights
  • Presenter:
    • Ellen Falduto, Chief Information & Planning Officer, The College of Wooster
    • Jon Breitenbucher, Director of Educational Technology, The College of Wooster
    • Tabby Conwell, Director of Applications Development, The College of Wooster
    • Vince DiScipio, Director of Technology Services, The College of Wooster

What would you do if your president asked you and your senior colleagues to engage in a “thought exercise” to imagine an information technology organization at 85% of your current, total, budget? Divisions at The College of Wooster were asked to do exactly that this year, as we considered the reality that the historical pattern of increases in college prices would not be sustainable, and who would be attending our type of institution will be very different from our past and current student demographic. This proved to be the opportunity we needed to change our service, infrastructure, and organization paradigm to one that is aligned more closely with Wooster’s mission and strategic objectives, and is sustainable for the long term – something we had been wanting (and needing) to do for a number of years.

While a work in progress before the “exercise” and now in implementation mode, the outcomes include increased emphasis on support of our educational program, students, and faculty; changing mindsets about proliferating specialized administrative applications; aligning IT staff skills and interests with needs and priorities; ensuring that all of our current “systems” and equipment could be replaced on a cycle basis; and perhaps most importantly, empowering staff throughout the division redesign their work processes and recommend policy and procedure changes so that we can spend more time in activities that grow use of our information and technology resources and transform Wooster through our smart and strategic use of both.

Skeptical? We’ll share our strategy, approach, ups, downs, and significant learnings, and leave plenty of time for comments and questions.

About the Presenters

Jon Breitenbucher ’92 describes himself as a “sometimes” Educational Technologist and a “sometimes” Mathematician. His interest in the interplay of technology and pedagogy lead to his appointment as the first Instructional Technologist at the College. Jon leads Wooster’s Educational Technology program, working with faculty to incorporate technology and/or innovative projects into their courses. Jon also serves as a member of Wooster’s Campus Council, has advised student groups, and served as a member of the Judicial Board.

Tabby Conwell leads Wooster’s Applications Development team, a group with responsibilities that range from supporting the campus in its use of our Colleague applications to identifying creative, effective, and efficient solutions in support of our educational program and operations. She has led three major implementations: two college-wide information systems applications and our current digital document system implementation. When not solving the problems of the College, Tabby can be found designing and printmaking, or continuing the renovations of her 100+ year old farmhouse.

Vince DiScipio is Director of Technology Services with, as he would term it, “end to end” responsibility for Wooster’s technology operations, whether it be the wiring in the wall or wireless access point, the server or cloud application, or our Help Desk. He has designed, and re-designed, Wooster’s network, server, and classroom technology infrastructure and is now re-designing the work of our technology services team. His passion for fishing. motorcycling, and cooking is well known to the campus (and CLAC) community.

Ellen Falduto is Chief information & Planning Officer, a position that requires her to cycle among planning and engagement processes for the College, strategy, research, opportunity identification, and enlightening others that technology is not a utility, but rather, a strategic resource. At times, her prior experience in college administration has been a blessing and a curse (especially her experience as an interim CFO). Little known facts apropos for CLAC this year: her high school Advanced Comp thesis was on the topic of why girls should be allowed in Little League, and her first paying job was as a Little League senior league umpire and scorekeeper.