Pfeiffer Forward / Part 4— Pfeiffer is Innovative: Driving a Digital Transformation

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Why Pfeiffer

It’s no longer sufficient to simply create or administer data—instead it’s vital to know how data are consumed, as well as how it can be amplified and shared.

At the center of Pfeiffer University’s ability to teach, conduct business, and connect with others is state-of-the-art technology and a digital transformation that is revolutionizing the overall Pfeiffer experience. To push Pfeiffer beyond boundaries, President Keith is making bold decisions that will transform the technology landscape at Pfeiffer. 

As we rebuild the university’s technology infrastructure to prepare us for the future, we do so heralding Ralph Waldo Emerson’s statement, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." With no intention to turn back, Pfeiffer has started a journey toward permanent technology culture change and changing the way technology is shared and consumed.

Engaging expert partners

Last fall, President Keith tapped Dr. Ken Russell, a 1988 Pfeiffer graduate, former trustee, and respected technology, social ideation, and organizational change leader, to return to his alma mater as vice president of digital transformation and chief information officer. He quickly assessed Pfeiffer’s overall technology needs and, together with President Keith and the university’s leadership team, articulated a vision that is making possible the effective and dynamic leveraging of technology by students, faculty and staff at all campuses and for online learning anywhere.

Dr. Russell’s approach is defining Pfeiffer’s digital transformation. He is bringing to life the notion that our data “are screaming,” and it’s time for us to listen. Specifically, “listening” in new ways and learning to interpret data, not merely generate reports. With greater capability to interpret information and knowledge, Pfeiffer offers a unique and insightful experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners.

Supporting Pfeiffer’s technology goals and its excellent IT team—now known as Digital Transformation and Technology (DTT)—is its partnerships with Cisco/Meraki, Presidio, Ricoh, and more. Promoting partnerships (not just vendor relationships) and investing in the Pfeiffer community is yielding positive results—many of which have come as part the technology plan, in addition to other results that surprise us when we open ourselves to unexpected “a-ha!” moments as we work—or collide—with others.

In a matter of months, overall progress includes the installation of new fiber optic cable at the Misenheimer campus, which stabilizes Pfeiffer’s core network and will enable high speed connections with the new Albemarle campus currently under development. In addition, Pfeiffer has introduced IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), which delivers television content over computer networks rather than through traditional satellite and cable television formats, not only improving the quality of television on campus but creating the ability for programming of all kinds to be viewed on any device, any time.

With an eye toward student-centered customer service, President Keith has championed the creation of an expanded DTT Help Center on the first floor of Stokes Student Center, a visible and accessible location on the Misenheimer campus that is easy for students, faculty, and staff to visit for their technology needs and questions. By virtue of its new location, the Help Center, which opens with the 2017 fall semester, provides a “one stop” experience for the university’s community and clear evidence to all that Pfeiffer takes seriously the role of technology in a modern education AND daily life.

The Center for Digital Transformation at Pfeiffer University

Because the real value in knowledge and information is with their sharing, Pfeiffer has established the Center for Digital Transformation, which will regularly convene technology leaders from across the globe and invite them to exchange groundbreaking knowledge with one another and the general public. The Center will provide unique learning opportunities for students, amplifying their Pfeiffer experience. With this addition, the Center positions the university as an ambassador for high-tech, transformational, and life-changing participatory experiences

Among the Center’s first sponsored programs is Water 2.0, Digitally Connecting the Water Industry [http://water2.org/] an ongoing exploration and presentation of the challenges related to the U.S. water infrastructure. The conference, which takes place October 4-5 at the Charlotte and Misenheimer campuses, focuses on the use of data analytics, software, and cyber security for water utilities. Pfeiffer looks forward to welcoming water and energy industry authorities, utilities professionals, and representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for this exciting event.

Moving Forward

With the transformation underway, Pfeiffer is creating a digital foundation with the ability—and agility—to grow and respond in a rapidly changing world. At the same time, President Keith knows that at the heart of the university’s technology infrastructure are people—and the ultimate goal for students is a relevant and innovative learning environment that boosts their ability to thrive in an environment that will change constantly throughout their lifetime. When students choose Pfeiffer, they can be confident that no matter where the future leads them—or their chosen field—they will be savvy interpreters and communicators of knowledge with the skill to adapt to new technologies and ways of accessing information throughout their entire lives.

Next: Aug. 8— Pfeiffer is Home: A holistic approach to living, learning and serving on campus