|Steve Machuga, director of administrative systems for Information Technology Services, helps lead projects for Student Services, University Relations and Financial Systems and HR/Payroll.|
| Q: You have the ultimate responsibility for the success of ITS administrative systems projects. Please explain what administrative systems are.
A: Administrative systems are used by the administrative offices of the University and their student, faculty and staff customers. The administrative systems cover the business side of the university. Id divide them into three major categories: Student Services, University Relations and Financial Systems combined with Human Resources/Payroll. They include student services offices such as Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Registrars Office, Admission, WesCard Office, the Graduate Services Office and GLSP.
Q: Who works on these operations?
Daune Oliveira, PeopleSoft product manager in Finance and Administration; Dan Koepf, Rich Langer and Tom DiMauro, analyst programmers in ITS have a lot to do with these. Dans 25-plus years of experience are one of the keys to our success. Deb Treister, director of University Relations Operations and analyst programmers Jane Jylkka, Sharon Cwirka and Doug Baker all feel a real responsibility to help UR meet their fundraising goals. Working with University Communications, we are continually improving our e-mail communications, WesNet (the Alumni Portfolio) and basic outlook and research.
We have worked with Financial Services, Financial Planning and HR/Payroll to put more and more self-services in the Portfolio. Ed Below, director of Administrative Applications for Finance and Administration; and analyst programmers Annette Howard, Barbara Spadaccini and Darrell Lawrence work on these systems.We get additional support across all applications from Pat Leone, world wide web administrator, Mary Glynn, application technology specialist and Steve Windsor, database administrator as well as the network, server specialists that work with James Taft, assistant director of technology support services. I know that Ive given an awful lot of names, but everyone is important to getting stuff done.
Q: Why do you promote the appreciation and utilization of technology throughout campus?
A: At a very basic level, technology is simply a tool. I think of tools as incredibly humanizing because they leverage human talent. A university is in the business of leveraging and growing human talent technology in its way can help tremendously.
Q: What projects are you most proud of?
A: Im proud of a much of what we have done, but Ill just give you one example. The Pre-Registration System that the Registrars Office developed with ITS help is just a great example. It helps create the advisable moment where a faculty adviser and student can review academic history, student goals, and course availability to make informed decisions about course selection. Anna van der Burg, university registrar, has gotten faculty feedback on the system and we will be incorporating that in the future.
Q: How else have you applied technology throughout campus?
A: In general, Im proud of the availability of secure student and employee self-service applications on the Web. In the past, data that could help in decision making was trapped in the institutional databases maybe you would get to see it in monthly reports. Now the Web has really allows us to share this data on a real-time basis. The Portfolio System has been key to this sharing. Mike Roy, director of Academic Computing Services and director of digital projects; Dan Schnaidt, academic computing manager for Arts and Humanities; Jolee West, academic computing manager for NSM; and Manolis Kaparakis, academic computing manager for the social sciences have been instrumental is conveying faculty needs regarding data access. These are not earth-shattering innovations but they are things that our university constituents have a right to expect
On a less philosophical note, the university has made a strategic and financial investment in information technology. I know that Ravi [Ganesan Ravishanker, associate vice president for Information Technology Services] has a strong belief in returning that commitment in the form of customer-service and innovation.
Q: Do you strive to build a strong working relationship with all administrative offices?
A: My job is to be helpful, solve problems and have a good time doing it.
Q: Youre also the lead coordinator of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act at Wesleyan, which requires institutions to protect the privacy of their customers, including customers nonpublic, personal information. What does this entail?
A: Gramm-Leach-Bliley is a congressional act that is meant to help protect individuals private data. In the papers, you read every other week about an institution or company having its computer system compromised the most recent one being the 800,000 individuals records at UCLA. Think of its this way: the institutions computer system is comprised, however, the real potential for damage is the compromising of our students, alum, faculty and staff data. We have a responsibility to protect it. There’s more on that at http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/glb/.
Q: What is your background with computers? What are your degrees in?
A: I have a bachelors of arts in English from Fairfield University and a masters of science in computer science from Rensselaer at Hartford. My final paper was: A C++ Information Abstraction System. I have not written any C++ in a very long time.
Q: Ive seen you mountain biking at Wadsworth Falls State Park. Is this a big hobby of yours?
A: Mountain biking is a lot of fun. Its a little scary and mostly healthy. Shawn Hill, a desktop support specialist, and I ride at 6:30 a.m. before work at Wadsworth. Its a good loop: up and down hills, over a few logs, through a stream and home with a herd of deer thrown in every now and then. Occasionally, well ride pass Susanne OConnell, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, out there playing her bagpipes behind the Wadsworth mansion. Its a glorious morning when we hear the bagpipes.
Q: Youre also a GLSP student.
A: Yes. I just finished my final paper for Rob Rosenthals Music in Social Movements course. It was interesting course. It was pretty cool that I had seen two of the musicians we studied: Holly Near and Thomas Mapfumo at the Center for the Arts.
Q: Tell me about your family and pets.
A: My wife is Sari Rosenblatt. She is a genuine, good person. I have two daughters Nora, 17, and Anne, 14. They are not particularly interested in hanging out with dear old Dad. I have to watch Gilmore Girls just to have something in common with them. Our dog, Courtney, is a gift from God. Sari says the best thing about Courtney is that she doesnt talk. She is a sweet, old mongrel who crosses her paws, very-lady-like, in whatever patch of sunlight she can find. Ive convinced that she is waiting for one of us to deliver a spot of tea.
|By Olivia Drake, The Wesleyan Connection editor|