As my boss is counting down to her retirement, she wants to make sure that all of her responsibilities are taken care of before she checks out. Although she is an associate dean, she has been very hands on. She is more technological savvy than her peers.
For instance, one of the tasks she took on was organizing and running the school calendars for over a decade. The program she had been using was no longer supported. She would have to pay $25,000 to get it upgraded to the cloud. As a result, she tasked me and the assistant director of technology to find alternative solutions. My first priority was to use the web to solve the issues. For public events, I turned to WordPress using the Events Calendar plugin. It worked out great. Instead of entering the events myself, I created accounts for stakeholders to post their events themselves. To solve class schedules and room reservations, we decided to use 25Live since the university already had a deal with the program. We just need to customize it a bit to match our brand. We saved the law school 25 grants.
Another item on my boss’s list was the TV screens around the building. She used a program that allowed her to display news via RSS feeds, weather forecasts, slideshows, and events. That program was also outdated and would cost $12,000 a year to keep it up to date. She assigned me and the director of technology to find a solution. In our initial meeting, I just asked if the screens could display the browser and the answer was yes. Once again, the web saved me. I recreated all the features using pages in WordPress. I created a page to parse RSS feeds, a page to display events, a page with slideshows. Once I had all the pages, I combined them together using the header refresh (via meta tag). We saved the school another 12 grants.
She was very pleased with the simple solutions we provided and they were free thanks to the beauty and flexibility of the web. She was also relieved that we took the weight off her shoulders. She has been an amazing boss and I wish she would continue, but she deserves her retirement. I will miss her dearly after she leaves. I am not sure what our future boss will be like, but I am not going to worry about it now. Que será, será.