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Wayne State University

Aim Higher


Geoff Nathan

Who is Geoff Nathan and why is he doing this?

I am a linguistics Professor and Faculty Liaison in C&IT. In C&IT I consider it my job to remind the computer guys that there are users, and remind the users that there are reasons why the geeks do what they do. While I have held this position since 2002 (and may have helped you with problems with class downloads or security questions or other things) I’d like to make my work as liaison more visible on campus. I’m restarting this blog (under a different title), and I hope it will serve as a conduit for faculty to talk to someone within C&IT who understands the faculty viewpoint and who can also explain the IT viewpoint.

A bit about my background—I’ve been teaching for over thirty years, at the University of Hawaii, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Wayne State. I was also an early adopter—my first PC was purchased in 1986, and I worked on Apple IIe’s earlier than that.

Since the mid nineties I’ve been involved in varying ways with the governance of IT, first at SIUC and now at Wayne. I serve on the C&IT All Leadership Team and work with the Quality, Communications and Compliance Department, where I develop IT policy.

My goal with this blog is to raise issues that confront academic computing in 2010, and solicit opinions, start debates, and otherwise interact with the faculty who use IT at Wayne. I will ask questions, explain technological advances that C&IT is considering, and find out what the faculty really want, both in terms of new services we don’t currently offer, and ways in which our current service could be improved.

This blog will not be an occasion for flame wars, so I’ll have to reserve the right to approve posts, but anyone on the Wayne faculty is entitled to comment. I hope folks will engage not only with me but with each other. I’ll only block posts that I deem to be personal attacks or that contain language inappropriate for public consumption.

What issues will I cover? Some of the things we are wrestling with at C&IT include rethinking the use of AccessID’s, developing stricter security and data privacy measures, the impact of copyright laws and enforcement on teaching and research, the use of landline telephones in offices, and, additionally, topics suggested by my readers.

At the beginning it’s likely I’ll post new topics every other week during the normal Fall and Winter semesters, but, depending on response, may keep things going year-round.

Please note that while this is an invitation to submit comments, your comment is not in any way an offical ‘vote’ for something. Often C&IT does things (and doesn’t do others) for reasons entirely beyond our control—for budgetary, legal or policy reasons that may well make no sense, but, as we used to say—it’s the law.

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