Tambellini Group Spotlight
Irvington, Virginia — March 16, 2021 — After receiving a record number of nominations from higher education institutions across the nation, Tambellini Group is pleased to announce that California Polytechnic State University and the Alamo Colleges District in Texas are the 6th annual Tambellini Technology Leadership Award winners.
William J. (Bill) Britton, the CIO and VP of Information Technology at Cal Poly, won the 2021 CIO Award. Alamo Colleges earned the Innovative Technology Team Award for their work led by Thomas Cleary, vice chancellor for planning, performance, accreditations, and information systems.
Tambellini Group, the world’s leading independent technology research and advisory firm dedicated solely to higher education, created the Technology Leadership Awards to celebrate IT teams and leaders for their excellence in driving transformative modernization efforts.
“Institutions need to fundamentally improve their operations to adapt to the rapidly changing demands of today’s students, and they can’t do that without top-notch technology teams and leaders,” says Vicki Tambellini, President and CEO of Tambellini Group.
“We are honored to elevate and reward the remarkable achievements of Cal Poly and Alamo Colleges, who exemplify a commitment to serving students and leading progress during an exceptionally challenging year for higher education.”
In his five years as chief technologist at Cal Poly, Britton has led numerous ambitious modernization projects, including the university’s successful transition to a cloud-based campus data center, and the development of a Digital Transformation Hub (DxHub). The DxHub provides students and faculty with hands-on cloud technology development experience, and has built a collaborative international education network with 12 cloud innovation centers at universities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Canada, and Australia.
“I am honored to receive this award and feel fortunate to work with an incredible team at Cal Poly that has been instrumental in modernizing the university’s technology environment,” says Britton. “These efforts have allowed us to be more agile and responsive to the university’s needs, which is critical to the success of students, faculty and staff, especially now.”
Britton’s ability to accelerate ongoing implementations of cloud-based Learning Management Systems in March 2020 was instrumental in ensuring Cal Poly could swiftly scale virtual learning and meet the needs of its faculty and 22,000 students. Britton also serves as director of the California Cybersecurity Institute at Cal Poly.
The Alamo College District’s five colleges and eight regional centers are located across Texas’s San Antonio region, the most impoverished major metropolitan area in the U.S. The pandemic hit Alamo College’s 70,000 students particularly hard, as many come from low-income backgrounds and lacked adequate access to high-speed wifi and devices such as laptops.
“Alamo’s IT department is comprised of a dedicated and engaged team of professionals who work tirelessly to support our organizational mission of student access and success, says Cleary, the vice chancellor who led the team. “They know that without reliable connectivity to systems and solutions there can be no student learning or staff engagement. While we manage a wide variety of technologies, we never forget that IT is in the business of student success.”
Innovations including a “Park-n-Learn Strategy” brought free and fast wifi to campus parking lots at each of Alamo College’s 13 sites, benefiting thousands of students weekly. Through a series of 10 targeted technology efforts for students and faculty, the technology team made heroic strides in swiftly meeting the numerous needs of their diverse community of learners.
While community college enrollments fell by 9.4 percent nationally and 8.4 percent within Texas, Alamo Colleges bucked those trends: its Spring 2020 term course completion rate jumped to an all-time high of 92 percent, and annual enrollments in Fall 2020 increased 1 percent over the previous year.
The IT team members included Roger Castro, District IT Director; Chris Delgado, Senior Manager of Networking; Louisa Martin, Director of Enterprise Reporting; Jesse Martinez, Senior Manager of Client Services; Pablo Morales, Senior Manager of Applications; and Arne Saustrup, Associate IT Director.
More information about the awards and nomination process is available here.
The Tambellini Group is the leading independent technology research and advisory firm dedicated exclusively to higher education.
Tambellini Group members benefit from more than 100 unbiased research reports every year that provide insight and analysis on the changing higher ed technology landscape. With more than 20,250 institutional technology selections and nearly 70,000 listings, Tambellini Group’s proprietary Education Institution Technology Profile Database® is unparalleled in the industry.
Founded in 2001, Tambellini Group is a woman-owned business and a certified Great Places to Work® company for 2020–2021.
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