May 05, 2020

Dispatch from Campus: Information Technology

On March 17, 2020, President Wiewel announced that only critical-services staff should report to work on campus. This Q&A series offers a closer look at how the stay-at-home order has affected various campus services and operations.

The following Q&A caught up with Director of Institutional Operations Chris Stetcher.

What is it about your job that requires you to work on campus?

My team is responsible for the end-user environment. We provide, service, and support the faculty and staff workstations. We also do the same for the labs. Specifically, the Watzek and Dubach computer labs.

How has your job changed since the stay-at-home order was announced?

When this pandemic began we assisted faculty and staff with the transition to remote work. Most of this work included unlocking computers so they could be taken home. We also assisted them with providing access to LCfiles (J and H and Network Drives) through a VPN. Most folks had an understanding of how all this works, but we did provide some basic tutorials as well. As of now, I support office hours on campus on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The rest of the time Tim Smale, Tyler Bearden, and I work from our homes via email, phone, and remote access. During office hours, I am able to coordinate with faculty and staff to provide the support that cannot be done via remote access. Most of this is still unlocking computers, providing cables and various parts needed to work from home. 

If you work with students, can you tell us about any interactions that highlight their morale and/or creativity during this difficult time?

We have needed to provide support to a handful of students since the campus closed. Most of these interactions mirrored the faculty’s needs of providing support for remote access. We have also worked with a couple of software companies, such as Adobe, to provide students the tools needed to work from their homes. There have also been a couple of instances where we have provided students with workstations to help them better work from home. They seem hopeful and cautious and very grateful for the support they are getting. The consensus is “interesting times.”

What are you doing to keep yourself occupied during this stay-at-home order?

As for myself, I have two sons I am spending a lot of extra time with. We recently built computers as father-son projects. This extra time with them is really great under the circumstances.

What personal hobby or activity are you most looking forward to when this pandemic is over?

I really miss the face-to-face social aspect of the job we do as well as the after-hours activities too. Lunches off-campus, happy hours, and just real-life interactions are missing in the daily routine. Those interactions make life better. As far as my hobby…I play golf and have avoided it since this all started. I look forward to that as well as a game of cribbage or two.