Mark Roman’s goal is to transform IT at the University of Victoria into the best technology systems at any university.
Roman is the chief information officer at the Victoria, B.C.-based post-secondary institution, responsible for revamping the university’s communication systems into an integrated collaboration system.
By improving the IT, Roman believes he is improving the university and the quality of the graduates the institution produces.
“I feel like I’m improving Canada and the world by improving the university environment,” he said.
Roman spends most of his day in meetings about university strategy and policy discussing how to make the university function better using technology.
“I’m having fun, I can make a difference to the way research is driving technology and how the university operates,” Roman said. “I can’t wait to get to work; a university is a special place.”
Roman introduced an initiative that focused on customer service and greater transparency in the university budgets. He implemented a $20-million enterprise resource planning system and also built a $7-million green data system for the university. “None of that existed before I got here,” he said.
He also instituted a single e-mail system and a university online portal for students to communicate and professors to post course material.
For Roman, optimism is the key to working in IT at the university, despite the absence of budgets often seen in corporate environments. “I think it’s important in this job that you have a sense of humour,” he said.