When I came to what was then Fresno Pacific College as a student back in the late 1980s, registration was held out in the Special Events Center (SEC), where miles of cables had to be run and computer terminals had to be moved from individual offices across campus out to the SEC in order to register students for classes, process financial aid and collect payments. Long lines stretched up and over the mezzanine as we waited for our turn to be processed at each stop along the way. Today, we strive to provide these and many other services online, in the cloud and in a self-service model. Pencil and paper have been more or less replaced with mouse, keyboard and touchscreen. Long physical lines have been replaced with load balanced web servers to queue up and process requests. Electronic systems have been put in place to streamline processes and enhance the experience of students, faculty and staff as the business of higher education is transacted on a day-to-day basis here on the main campus, our regional campuses and online.
Many things have changed over the years regarding technology here at the university and in the world we live in. Sometimes we joke that change is the only constant these days, but some things have remained constant. We serve a God that stands with us, and carries us through times of change. Here at the university, we have a great team working behind the technology that has a heart for service and is dedicated to serving the Lord by serving you, our university students, faculty and staff. This is our staff members’ highest priority, and they do so to the best of their ability with God’s grace.
Changing passwords, migrating systems to the cloud, building and rolling out the new My FPU portal site and mobile app (my.fpu.edu), installing a new network across all campuses and rennovating the helpdesk, are all done to better serve and protect you and the university. The IT Services Office believes in technology with a purpose, not technology for technology’s sake, and being able to use technology as a means to serve others brings great joy. As their leader, I take to heart the words in 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV): “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Technology continues to change rapidly, and how the university uses technology must also change to keep us moving forward. How we deal with this change is important and doing so with a smile and a heart of service makes all the difference. I think the IT Services Department Purpose Statement sums it up quite nicely:
The IT Services Department exists to support, enhance and provide technology based solutions in secure, strategic, creative and innovative ways by intentionally engaging the FPU community, commiting ourselves to continuous learning and striving for excellence in service to the university and its mission.
As we partner together to engage the cultures and serve the cities, lets all remember who it is we serve and let’s serve him with all our hearts.