On 3D Vision

When art director Scott Rovin and I decided to photograph Northern Virginia Community College president Robert Templin for our Campus Technology launch issue cover, we asked him if he would brainstorm with us about his interview for our enterprise technology story, “Enterprise Vision .” We had been struggling to come up with a visual image around the marriage of strategic planning and enterprise technology, and we thought: If only we could get hold of some kind of phrase or concept that would give us the spark needed to get our creative juices flowing. Dr. Templin didn’t disappoint us.

He spoke first about the need to link NVCC’s enterprise initiative to needs larger, more urgent, more dimensional than the apparent technological requisites—the school’s mission to support dramatic growth in campus diversity, among other things. And he spoke of strategic vision, a phrase that has been bandied about entirely too often in recent years, but a concept that this president “got” and believed the campus community had to “get,” or else perish.

All at once, we weren’t talking about enterprise technology any more; we were talking about enterprise vision. Dimensional enterprise vision. Scott and I probably had the same idea at the same moment, and when we ended the conversation with Dr. Templin, I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could see those enterprise ‘dimensions’ with the glasses they used to hand out at 3D movies in the ’50s?” Scott’s a lot younger than I am, but he knew exactly what I was talking about, and half an hour later, he had tracked down a vintage supply of 3D specs on eBay, just waiting for some fool magazine editor to purchase for a photo shoot.

That is why your first issue of Campus Technology sports a college president surrounded by a diversified campus community which, with his help, can now understand the impact of well-integrated enterprise technology on the survival of the institution. Today, this technology not only marries previously disparate functions across the NVCC campus, but also across the larger 23-campus Virginia Community College system, allowing easy access by a diverse, even distant, body of applicants and students.

Why do I choose to open my first Seen & Heard column with the behind-the-scenes story of our cover shoot and Dr. Templin’s “3D” strategic enterprise vision? Because it perfectly illustrates the need to have just that kind of dimensional vision about all campus technology—to see the imperative of campus technologies serving and supporting mission and strategic goals; to see these tools optimized across a campus and/or a system; to ensure they broaden access, bringing people and knowledge together. That is what Campus Technology magazine and eMedia are all about. As we morph from our venerable predecessor Syllabus, I can’t think of a more fitting way to get that all-important message across.

Katherine Grayson, Editor-In-Chief
What have you seen and heard? Send to: kgrayson@101com.com.

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