The director of campus technology support and assistant chief information officer recently represented Elon at the Miami 2016 Connect Conference for EDUCAUSE: the leading nonprofit organization for those seeking to ‘advance higher education through the use of information technology.’
Dan Harder, director of campus technology support and and assistant chief information officer, recently represented Elon at the Miami 2016 Connect Conference for EDUCAUSE: the leading nonprofit organization for those seeking to ‘advance higher education through the use of information technology.’
In addition to leading two of the main stage speeches Harder was also a part of the team responsible for conceptualization and execution of the entire conference. This is the third year that Harder has spoken at EDUCAUSE and the first that he has been on the planning committee.
Who is Dan Harder?
As Director of Campus Technology Support and Assistant CIO Dan Harder is in charge of making sure that technology on campus is running smoothly. He’s a part of any conversation concerning the future of technology at Elon, and is responsible for ensuring that new technology complies with Elon’s sustainability goals.
Although currently working in information technology (I.T.) Harder actually received his undergraduate degree in Music Education and was originally trained as a band director. Although the academic jump may seem unusual, there’s a reason that EDUCAUSE asked him to speak. From conducting classics to contemplating conduits his ability to lead a team to success is why he was asked to give speeches on leadership and motivation and on the use of analytics as a tool for decision making.
During his speech on leadership and motivation Harder made sure to avoid just telling people what to do or how to think. Instead he led a discussion, a method that he believes is vital in being an effective leader. “Just let people talk, help facilitate dissenting opinions. I’m not going to sit back and tell them what I think, or why I’m right. Let them discuss it, figure it out, and see the options.” Harder was pleased to hear that the reviews after his session were overwhelmingly positive.
Why all the fuss?
The Connect Conference in Miami was one of a few smaller conferences held by EDUCAUSE and was attended by about 600 professionals. Harder believes a conference of this size creates “more of a cohort, community type feel”.
Harder believes that EDUCAUSE is “the place to be” as a senior leader in IT. It offers the opportunity to network with other professionals, learn new methods, and put Elon on the national stage. With campus pursuing so much innovative technological design it’s hugely beneficial for Elon to collaborate and compare results with other similar institutions. In this way we can find out what we’re doing better, how we can improve, and Harder can access a variety of colleagues that he uses to “make sure I’m not crazy.”
So why does Elon stand out at these events? Harder believes it’s because “Elon is constantly hungry, constantly trying to make things better. I think it’s good to show people our viewpoint, and why Elon is the way it is.”
If you’re interested in finding out more about EDUCAUSE, please visit their website here.
If you’d like more information on Campus Technology Support, it can be found on the wiki here.