Director of Web Services Patrick Ackerman:
Baruch's Internet Expert
Bringing Baruch Technology Up to Speed
When Patrick Ackerman came to Baruch College over a decade ago as web coordinator, "The question then was how does the web work and what do we use it for?," he recalls.
At the time, anything to do with the Internet was the responsibility of Baruch's IT office (BCTC). "Across institutions, it usually gets housed in either IT or marketing," says Ackerman. "In reality it has to be both."
He worked with both BCTC and the Office of Communications, Marketing & Public Affairs on a comprehensive website redesign that included honing the homepage and simplifying navigation.
Since then, he's been involved with several major initiatives, including Baruch's new space reservation system, for which he won the Vice Chancellor's Productivity Award from CUNY. Initial training began in June with full roll-out to be completed early this year.
"The question was how does the web work and what do we use it for?"
The Early Years: Connecting to the Internet
Ackerman remembers becoming aware of the World Wide Web as a graphic design/fine arts major at Rowan University in New Jersey. He became more familiar with the Internet while creating instructional technology at the University of Maine.
Ackerman returned to Rowan to work on redesigning the college's website, while teaching graphic design and web design as an adjunct professor at Cumberland Community College. Two years later, he came to New York with his fiancée (now wife) Julie to work at Long Island University; soon after, he accepted the position as web coordinator at Baruch.
Coming Up: Major Goals and Key Projects
- Supporting the CUNY First Campus Solutions rollout, occurring in late March. "It will require changes to current services and may spawn need for services we're not currently running."
- Optimizing the Baruch website for mobile devices. "People are using their smartphones as their primary device. Responsive web design resizes to fit device interface."
- Advancing the new CUNY Pathways system of requirements and transfer guidelines. "We realized we could use KACE, our helpdesk ticketing system, to help manage the workflow across the various offices responsible for the student Opt-In process."
- Digitization of Baruch's Undergraduate and Graduate Course Bulletins. The Graduate Bulletin has been completely digital since early 2013. As a result, "We can update more often, so it's more current and it's archived." The Undergraduate Bulletin is now in the process of being fully digitized as well.
Working with the Strategic Plan
Baruch's current Strategic Plan includes two important missions:
- Create and implement an IT plan that examines technology needs across the College and addresses them programmatically Engage senior IT staff in academic and administrative planning.
- Patrick Ackerman and his department, Baruch Computing and Technology Center, are clearly working hard on both fronts.