One of the really wonderful privileges I have in my current role is that I get to participate in many of the ceremonial duties of campus leadership. This includes things like graduations, and today’s event, convocation. It is kind of fun to put on regalia from time to time and it is particularly good to get to be a part of the academic life of our campus.
I think for CIO’s, it is easy to disconnect and make every day about whether the systems are running and the help desk is answering calls and all the enormous details of our daily work lives. Sometimes we cannot afford not to be that focused – our ministerial duties necessarily trump the ceremonial ones at times.
But I also think it is important to connect to what is happening on campus. To see and talk to our students and to let them see that we care about what they are doing. It’s a privilege to sit on the stage at graduation. It’s a lot of fun to see the jazz ensemble and the marching band and the steppers joyfully kick off the semester.
More importantly, it is a good thing to remind ourselves of why we are here. It is easy to think of everyone as “users” and “customers” but it is much better to see how awesome our students are and to recommit ourselves to their educations being successful, not just ensuring we are doing a great job as plumbers and strategists.