Vice Chancellor for IT, Nevada System of Higher Education
Steven Zink has spent his higher education career finding common ground and connections in unexpected places.
As an IT and library leader at the University of Nevada, Reno, he helped bring together various information disciplines including desktop administration, instructional technology and libraries. They moved into a $75.3 million building, called the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, where students could be creative with technology in richer, more diverse ways. Instructional technology may not appear to have much in common with libraries at first glance, but they both deal with information that’s accessed at least partially from the network. And when network connectivity goes down, neither of these disciplines can function.
“It’s a long way from an old, dusty book to a smartphone, but you know they’re connected,” Zink said.
After 18 years in his university position, he joined the Nevada System of Higher Education’s staff to bring an academic perspective to technology at the system office. Right away, his team tackled a major redesign of business processes for human resources and finances, as well as a new technology platform in the cloud for the system’s eight institutions. Members of the Board of Regents wanted a more efficient and effective operation, so Zink worked to get buy-in from leaders at each campus.
“The most difficult thing is to still get the business units to believe that something dealing with technology is really their concern,” Zink said.
By sharing common data standards, a common enterprise resource system and common business practices, the eight campuses are poised to realize significant benefits as the iNtegrate 2 project nears completion this year.