Monday, March 16, 2020, I ended a 31.5-year career at Brigham Young University (BYU) and started in a new role at Utah Valley University (UVU). I filled the newly created position of Vice President of Digital Transformation and CIO. I was hopeful that I could stay above the tactical problems associated with IT systems and focus on the digital transformation of the institution. While that was a worthy goal, COVID-19 put a damper on most strategic thinking and a significant focus on getting 4,000 courses online and ensuring that IT-supported that effort.
While the initial intent was to get to know my new team, help them understand my expectations and plans, and hire an admin and an associate vice president, COVID-19 put an end to all of that. My initial introduction to the team was a virtual team meeting, and our message was stay safe, stay alive, and work from home if you can.
This week wasn’t the perfect traditional first week, but it was the ideal time for me to join the team at UVU. I think I have already contributed, and I hope to contribute much more as we move forward. I am encouraged by how quickly the cabinet, led by President Astrid S. Tuminez, adapts to new challenges and moves to new communication mechanisms and processes. She’s a great leader, and her team is anxious to serve UVU students. We hope the students are safe and ready to learn remotely.