Creighton University solves a vexing calendar app challenge

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards: Brian Young

2009 InfoWorld CTO 25 Awards

Brian Young

Creighton University

Things tend to happen rather slowly in academia. But over the last 18 months at Creighton University, CIO Brian Young and his IT department have been working at a blistering pace. During that time Young has successfully led efforts to upgrade the main datacenter, accelerate the growth of online learning programs, use virtualization to reduce energy costs, and expand wireless infrastructure. But he is most proud of the calendar project.

A Web calendaring application may seem like no big deal. But Creighton University, like most educational institutions, faced a daily challenge of communicating event information to a diverse audience of students, faculty, staff, and alumni -- resulting in a hodgepodge of independent calendars that serve various schools, colleges, programs, and campus groups. Overlapping events and double-booked resources prevailed, not to mention the eternal question: Which calendar has the event I'm looking for?

The solution was to create a simple, single calendar that would provide the total picture of academic, student, athletic, and campus events. To accomplish this, says Young, "I issued an 'insourcing' challenge to the women and men of my division to brainstorm and develop a solution that would solve the calendar conundrum. The team developed a feature-rich system easily customizable for any campus, business, or community."

Young had the calendar patented and Creighton is now reselling it to other colleges and universities around the globe. But clearly, Young's greatest satisfaction derives from the process and the people who developed solution. He expresses "great pride" that the "outstanding in-house talent of the Creighton IT team was ready, willing, and able to step up to the insourcing challenge." Score one for CU.

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