Portland, Oregon October 19-22, 2008


Print the Pre-Conference Workshop Brochure [PDF]

Morning Sessions

Proposing, Preparing, Practicing and Presenting Practically Perfect Presentations

Jayne Ashworth, University of Virginia

A Stanford University study revealed a person's success in life can be predicted by the way he or she answers the question "Are you willing to get up and make a presentation right now?" At one time or another we all have to deliver a presentation to an audience and if you haven't-you should!

Are you a techie needing to teach other ITS staff detailed information about how a service operates? A User Support person doing one-on-one tutorials, hands-on classes and demonstrations to your user community? Have you ever wanted to present a paper at a conference, like SIGUCCS? This workshop will help you learn some simple steps to take your topic from inception to delivery so that you can enjoy all the steps that will culminate in an interesting, informative and practically perfect presentation.

You and Your User Services Career

John Bucher, Oberlin College

In order to be a highly-effective IT professional in higher education, it is essential that one have managerial abilities, leadership skills, and a prominent service ethic. All three of these factors are necessary to shape the kind of IT environments that are required by today's higher education institutions. This workshop will cover the elements of good management, leadership and service, and will provide tools and examples for sharpening these factors. The session will be useful to anyone who is already in an IT administrative role or who aspires to be in such a position. The workshop will highlight:

  • the importance of professional excellence in today's IT
  • why leadership, service and management are critical
  • important elements of management; where management and leadership differ
  • the emotionally intelligent IT leader
  • the critical elements of customer service
  • dealing with institutional culture and politics
  • factors that shape a career in higher education IT

Training Students for the Helpdesk

Jerry Martin, The Ohio State University

This workshop will focus on the hiring process, training, competency testing, and retention of students hired to work in a help desk environment. It is critical to hire students with the right skill set. In our highly competitive environment this is not something that is easy to do. Once hired the typical training necessary is complex and time consuming. Once trained students are in a position of being even more in demand by others, and retention becomes a critical issue. The techniques discussed are general enough they can be used by both small and large help desk operations. This session will be highly interactive, as well as fun! You will receive handouts with interview questions, training schedules, and lots of practical skills you can take home and implement.

Office 2007: Make It Easy On Your Users (and Yourself)

Lorna Olsen, North Dakota State University

Are you getting ready for an Office 2007 upgrade on your campus and feeling somewhat "overwhelmed?" Has your campus already upgraded and you're struggling to help users cope with the changes?

This workshop will share many of the lessons ITS learned throughout an upgrade process, provide you with suggestions aimed at easing the transition, and share the resources developed at NDSU to help users cope with the changes, such as the file compatibility issues.

Come and "play" with the core Office 2007 applications (Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word) in a hands-on environment. Learn about the top new features in each application that make this a beneficial upgrade and discover several shortcuts to make the new "Fluent" interface more "user-friendly." We will discuss and share resources to help you market Office 2007 to your campus community so that the transition is smooth for your users and most of all, yourself!

Afternoon Sessions

Contentious Copyright-its Culture, Law and Politics

Tracey Mitrano, Cornell University

Copyright remains one of the most contentious and important economic, social and political issues of our day and higher education, with both producers and consumers of copyrights, trademarks and patents, stands at a center point in the crossroads of those issues between users and content owners in the Internet Age. In this session we will discuss the culture, law and politics of copyright generally and its application to higher education in particular, especially in light of both the impact on students who grow up with peer to peer exchange of media as well as the academic uses of educational materials in e-Reserves and course management systems.

Web 2.0: Social Software Foundations and Implications

Kevin Guidry, Indiana University

Technologies and tools built to both overcome and take advantage of properties of mediated communications are broadly classified as "Web 2.0." These technologies and tools have changed how we use and what we expect from the Web. Whether driven by user demand, aspirations for efficiency, or a desire to experiment and innovate, IT support professionals and organizations in higher education are integrating the technologies, capabilities, and mindset of Web 2.0. This workshop will explore the historical and technological foundations of Web 2.0 to help attendees integrate them into the framework of higher education IT support. Practical examples will be demonstrated and discussed and a specific emphasis will be placed on social networking services (Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) throughout this workshop.

Split Personality: Deploying the Dual-Boot OS X Lab

David Houston, University of Vermont

With the availability of Intel in Apple computers, we can be very innovative with our deployment of macs on campus; one lab can have both a Mac and Windows environment. This "hands-on" workshop is for those IT technicians wishing to learn how to deploy a computer lab of dual boot Macintosh computers.

Participants will carry out the steps needed to configure a "master machine" for OS X and Windows Vista, and proceed to build and use the toolkit needed to image a lab full of these systems. Upon completion, you will have the skills needed, to deploy a Dual boot Macintosh Lab on your campus and troubleshoot both the OSX and Windows images.

Being the Boss, It Is Not a 4-letter Word!

Karen McRitchie, Grinnell College

So, is it 7 habits, 4 steps, a 6 step model, 10 lenses, or 3 easy payments to being a great manager? It is never that easy! You may not realize that micromanaging a GenX staff member doesn't work well or you may empower your staff to the point that you undermanage them. When all is said and done, someone still needs to be the boss! You are the guide, mentor, facilitator, therapist, creative director, and maybe even the entire cheerleading squad for your team. In the end, however, you are the one accountable for the daily operations and success of projects.

Being a boss can be challenging. There is the "big talk" that you may have with staff or figuring out if a team member "meets expectations." Do you have productive meetings? Are you holding your team members accountable? Do you just want everyone to like you and get along? There are the times when you have to be a leader and other times sit back and see what your team can do-do you know the difference? Many people get to be a boss, yet have had no training or practice, others think they don't need training and fall into one of the many stereotypes of the bad boss. One of the main reasons for employee turnover is a bad relationship with their boss. Let's spend some time exploring skills and tools for being a great boss, whether you are new to the role or need to energize your boss skills.