Now on the job for two months at Information Technology Services, Assistant Vice Chancellor Dennis Schmidt said he’s been impressed by the professionalism of the ITS staff, pleased by the level of coordination among the ITS groups and touched by the welcome he’s received.
“It’s been fun. I’m enjoying it over here. It’s a totally different challenge,” said Schmidt, who came over from the University’s School of Medicine to take the helm of Infrastructure & Operations.
Although Schmidt has worked for UNC-Chapel Hill for 18 years, his new role “gives me a whole different perspective on ITS,” he said. In his previous position with the School of Medicine, he worked with ITS as a customer. Now he is on the back end providing the services.
It was a difficult decision to apply for this AVC position, Schmidt said. Things were going well at the School of Medicine. His job “was still exciting to me. I enjoyed going to work each day,” he said.
Coming to central ITS, though, offered an opportunity to serve campus in a broader capacity and work for a larger organization. Schmidt’s IT team at the School of Medicine was about 50 people compared to around 90 within Infrastructure & Operations.
Upon arriving at ITS, Schmidt “immediately felt part of the team,” he said, and everyone has been friendly. He described the welcome he has received as “heartwarming.”
Schmidt has been surprised by the level of early interaction with other ITS groups. He wasn’t expecting that degree of coordination among the ITS units.
Since arriving, Schmidt has jumped right into the Microsoft Office 365 migration. That project will consume a lot of time over the next couple of years, he noted.
He’s still establishing his priorities and goals and trying to meet everyone. He is creating a monthly All Hands meeting with his team to convey news, hand out awards and celebrate birthdays. He held such meetings in his previous position too.
Schmidt said he looks forward to working closely with ITS leadership to provide a broader level of service to the University.