Why I’m Looking Forward to EDUCAUSE Next Week

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Next week is the annual EDUCAUSE conference, with this year’s event returning to the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Attending the annual EDUCAUSE event remains one of the highlights of my fall semester. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to next week.

  1. Giving something back. The EDUCAUSE events provide each of us the opportunity to give back some of that special knowledge and experience that we have developed over the past year. We are all working together on common problems and seeking new solutions and best practices – and we all have something to offer the community. Whether you are delivering a presentation, serving as a convener, or participating in one of the many groups or roundtables, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to speak up and offer your experience and wisdom back to our community of professionals.
  2. Learning something new. As I think about picking and choosing among the variety of sessions offered, I always look for topics that are new or on a subject that I don’t know much about. This annual event provides one of the best professional development experiences around, and as I go from session to session I will be looking for some things to take back to the University of Georgia for us to focus on next year.
  3. Becoming more inspired about our profession. Absent two or three areas, I cannot think of a more difficult profession in higher education than working in IT leadership. This is a tough business we are in, and we spend far too much time managing expectations and bringing them in-line with shrinking resources. While doing so, it’s easy to forget that technology can and should be strategic for our institutions. This year’s program provides ample opportunities to be inspired again about these possibilities.
  4. Seeing old friends. Over the past ten years I have worked with colleagues from different institutions and vendors and one thing I can count is that most will be at EDUCAUSE each year. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends and spending some time with them catching up, and introducing them to the new friends I have made this past year.
  5. Fellowshipping with our community. There is no more strategic endeavor in higher education today than working in IT. We should never forget that the future fate of higher education is deeply intertwined with what we do each day, and spending a week with thousands of other committed professionals excited about this cause is truly an honor. I am expecting a great week of fellowship with my colleagues from around the country!

While attending the conference, we shouldn’t forget that the event is the result of thousands of hours of work by EDUCAUSE volunteers and professional staff who are working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event a success. Every time that you see one of them be sure to tell them thanks for their hard work, commitment, and dedication to our community.