Director of IT

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I worked for San Jose State University for five years as a technical director managing various departments, delivering services, programs, and projects to the wider campus leading a mix of technical and non-technical staff including students as admin and interns.

In early 2014 I was approached by the CIO of SJSU because of the previous experience and current role/tenure at Cisco. As a result, several months later, after a robust recruitment process, the position of User Experience Director, reporting directly to the CIO, was offered.

The situation at SJSU

SJSU had invested some $28M in a technology upgrade and aggressive deployment of Cisco equipment to modernize SJSU’s antiquated IT infrastructure, computer networks, classroom teaching technology, and telecom systems. It was six months over an 18 month planned schedule, with only 50% deployment completed and equipment that was deployed was unreliable. The campus user community had lost confidence, becoming belligerent, to the degree that SJSU IT staffers were engaging the media to actively undermine the project, the CIO, and the university president. Urgent intervention was essential as individual departments were resorting to building their own computing and networking infrastructures.

My Tenure at SJSU

During my tenure at SJSU I had 3 distinct roles. Two remediating large crises and the other driving strategic programs and projects forward:

- Director for User Experience
- Director for Academic Technology and Collaboration
- Director for Strategic Programs and Projects

Having completed five years of service at SJSU it was time to move back to industry and profit-motivated environment. I mostly enjoyed my time at SJSU, the highlights being the opportunities I was given to improve SJSU and the relationships I built as I mentored some 75 students and a around 10 staffers.

Copyright © Mike Wardley, 2020