Quick Q & A

October 17, 2014

  1. In your opening remarks at the UC Computing Services Conference this summer, you said that “the most profound changes are the ones that combine inspired leadership with grassroots movements.” Can you explain more what you mean by that and what kind of “grassroots” movement you’d like to see within IT at UC?

    I've been fortunate to be part of several organizational efforts with business and culture transformational components. I've learned that the impetus and urgency for change come from the top.  You see that inspired leadership in our president.  However, memos from the top do not create change. Change requires the whole organization to move in a new direction. When an industry is facing tremendous challenge or pressure, change also requires a shifting in the way people "think."  

    I believe that we are in one of those periods in higher education and at the University of California. Look at the challenges of reduced state funding, the public’s perception of unaffordable college costs, and the way technology, which is now all pervasive, is changing the way we live and learn. Many call this an inflection point.

    This then is a great time to ask questions about what we do and why we do it that way. As technologists, we have a great opportunity to redefine our role to be more central to the strategic and operational aspects of the institution. This requires our IT community of 7000 professionals to create a groundswell movement of dialog and activity amongst ourselves as well as with our clients.  This is the opportunity for every member of IT at UCOP, the UC campuses, and the UC medical centers.  A mobilization of this capacity will fundamentally change UC if we accept the challenge and engage.