In his job of supporting the technology needs of Undergraduate Admissions, Larry Heimer considers himself a generalist.
Over at Jackson Hall, where recruiters work from the first floor and workers process applications from the basement, no two days are alike for Heimer, Systems Specialist with ITS On Site Support.
“That’s why it’s a good job. There’s no typical day,” said Heimer, who has provided on site support for Admissions for 16 of his 17 years with ITS. “I like there is no routine. It keeps it interesting.”
Heimer maintains and troubleshoots a wide variety of hardware and software for the 90 workers he supports during Undergraduate Admissions’ peak crunch time. Heimer is responsible for a dozen desktop computers, 69 laptops, four tablets, four office-owned flip phones and 57 smartphones that individuals own but use for work.
“I try to be available for all technology issues,” he said. “I try to not limit what I respond to.”
53 Regular employees
14 Seasonal application evaluators
19 Work-study students
3 Grad students
3 Social media interns
6 Student campus tours coordinators
1 Student temp
1 PT regular temp
Providing assistance across the globe
These workers travel frequently to visit high schools around the globe—China, London, France, California, Texas and you name it. The laptops take a beating with all this traveling. Heimer replaces them in waves. The rotating rollouts are seemingly constant.
“We don’t do the whole office at once,” he said. “That would be too expensive.”
When these recruiters are back in the busy office, they bring in their ailing personal printers, which they use for their job like they do their personal smartphones.
When the recruiters are traveling, especially abroad, wireless networking issues often come up for Heimer to figure out, like an employee calling from Indonesia who can’t get on Wi-Fi. Heimer does a lot of Web research, such as on proxy settings, enabling him to address their needs.
“You can usually do enough research here to get them going there,” he said.
Heimer’s job also is interesting because of the variety of software he learns and supports for Undergraduate Admissions. “Some of the software they use is pretty obscure,” he said.
Adding to the interest level is the medley of types of workers that Heimer supports: regular staff, work-study students and retired teachers and guidance counselors, who work during crunch time along with other seasonal workers.
“We have so many work-study students,” Heimer said. “It’s always interesting working with them. They have a fresh perspective on things. They make a huge contribution.”
In addition to the everyday kind of support, Heimer handles a mix of projects, such as a complete audio-visual conference room rebuild this year and a relocation of servers to ITS Manning a year ago.
“The people I work with are very smart, creative and dedicated to their job at the University, just very nice people,” he said. Admissions has many long-time employees. They’ve shared so many years together, in fact, Heimer and the people he supports sometimes know what each other is thinking. That helps with the work.
“I feel very connected to the department I’m in,” Heimer said. The job, he said, is a “perfect fit.”
Customer testimonial: Praise for “extraordinary patience and skill”
Allison Legge, Senior Associate Director for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, calls Heimer “our superhero.”
“It’s an understatement to say that Larry goes ‘above and beyond’ each day to support us. In fact, we joke that Larry defies the laws of physics. If we call Larry to ask for help, he somehow manages to appear in our office before we even hang up the phone. Others think he may be telepathic—‘All I need to do is think that I need some computer help, and Larry magically appears.’
Most of all, Larry continues to support each of us with extraordinary patience and skill—even in extraordinary situations. Whether configuring new hardware and software, protecting sensitive data or providing daily computer fixes, Larry remains an invaluable and trusted colleague. We’ve also learned that Larry responds extremely well in the face of a natural disaster. During a terrible rainstorm, water started to flow into the lower level of Jackson Hall, where about 25 folks were working. Larry immediately screamed out, ‘Everyone, unplug your computers and get them off the floor.’ Great instincts, Larry! Fortunately, everyone was safe, and the damage was minimal.
We remain grateful for Larry’s outstanding work and friendship. We also greatly appreciate the close partnerships and friendships we have with our many colleagues at ITS.”