Et Voila, I tri! - Diary of my journey(s). Observations! #Zentriathlete, #familybalancetri, #zenfamily


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15 May 2010

Ode to Change

Well, yesterday I gave notice at Longwood University. The place I have been since June 25, 2009 after my rough 8 month patch at the Yale Law School. Liz and I both hope this is the last change we will have to make professionally for some time. I am posting the conversation as it happened below:

S: Hi Mr. ---, (I hand him the notice) I needed to bring this to your attention.
Boss: What is this?
S: This is my notice, I was just given an offer that I cannot refuse.
Boss: (Stone-wall and iced expression with hands folded on desk, no reaction) OK.
--A couple of moments pass, as notice is read--
Boss: So when will you be leaving us?
S: It will be May 28th, as my last day.
Boss: Um, you mean two weeks.
S: Yes, I am giving 2 weeks notice.
Boss: Well standard is 30 days.
S: I know, Sungard asked me to start June 1 and I can't pass on this.
--(Boss makes his awkward look, when he's not knowing how to deal with something but trying to do the Glady's butt-cheek squeeze, previous Registrar once stated if you squeeze your butt-cheeks you can't cry).
Boss: Well, this is going to be put in your personnel file.
S: Yes, ok.
Boss: Is that all?
S: I have a few projects I need to wrap up and things for you to sign as I complete them
Boss: Thank you.
I leave....

Pretty much a non-event for me. The two that report to me were like did you just do it? I said yes, and they were confused because of the non reaction. Then the events begin.

Boss then goes to the Provost office about 4 times. One of my employees alerts me that my name is being thrown around on the phone by the boss like a piece of poop about to hit the proverbial fan. I go in to give him the follow up on the Academic Standing to '00' change control request form from our Systems DBA.

S: Here is the change request form and a write up of the test plan as requested our Systems DBA.
Boss: You signed as the System Data Owner, I am the system data owner!
S: Sure, I filled out everything as our Systems DBA requested and it now needs your signature.
Boss: But I am the System Data owner.
S: Yes, I signed but I am bringing this to you for your signature as well. If you want this process completed like you asked me to take care of, you'll need to sign the form and get it to dot so it may be completed.
Boss: I am the System data Owner.
I walked out at this point leaving the documents with him. I also alerted the system DBA and sent the test plan that is required so she knew that I wasn't the one holding up the request.

Flashback approx 9 months. When I arrived at Longwood a few thing notable things were requested of me: Bring the National Student Clearinghouses services to LU, modernize business processes such as registrations, graduation close outs, modernizing office forms, modernizing transcript output, to name a few. The transcript processes through the NSC were a breeze, although I took a lot of time assuring my two employees that will be the processors went through the process identifying and providing the business process model and specifications. THese two employess have not ever been trusted to do so, and took this time to mentor them through the process. This made delivery of this service take an extra two weeks, but the experience they received empowered them. During this process they identified elements of the transcript that needed to be addressed. The product used is by Evisions called FormFusion. Our office had to rely on our Information Technology group to make these changes. After about the 6th email communication with our IT person, he came over because he didn't know how to do what I was asking. So he came over, logged in and I showed him how to do what I was asking. Afterall, I had been a FormFusion user for the last 4 years and presented at the request of Evisions and NSC on the electronic transcript exchange that we created for the state of Utah. The IT person then said, well let's get you access to this b/c you know this far better than I do. We got all the forms filled out, the software installed on my work station and then I gave the signe forms to my boss. My boss, never signed the forms b/c he was out while I got this all done. Apparently he was upset that I would have more access than he did. this mirrored the problem I had when I tried to get administrative rights to the Mac Book Pro that I have as my mobile solution. To date, I still have a pretty device that is worth a netbook/webbrowser b/c of the way it is locked down. So much for a mobile working tool. I guess what I am getting at, is I have a feeling the request may be bogged down due to previous examples b/c of the nature of my boss.

Onward, looking forward. I have accepted a position with Sungard to be a Systems Consultant. I will be working with multiple clients that use the Sungard Higher Education solution known as Banner. I first started using this system when I began my employment with USU. After a short period of time I became the Student Module Lead and was asked to be an Asst. Registrar. The Yale Law School and Longwood University each used the same system. I now have a complete conversion, and 2 major system upgrade implementations under my belt. I will be traveling up to 75% of the time. This will provide some family stress for our little family but the bonuses are that we can live anywhere we choose as long as its within close proximity to an airport. The salary that I am making is 30K better than USU, 28K better than LU and 8K better than at Yale. I will be making the money I would like to make. I will have the opportunity to provide information to those in higher Education that can make great decision to shape and change how Higher Education grows in the future. I will also be able to walk away at the end of the day and detach from the institution. One of the hardest things I have to deal with is having a different approach at using this system to accomplish better things. I have been blessed with a mind that makes me look at the larger picture, to embrace the future and be visionary in that regard, and trying to use the product to the best of its ability. Many in higher Education try to maintain the status quo and do not want to move forward. the following link demonstrates some of my feeling of how Higher Education is failing students:

Now I am not a fan of Kaplan, however the statement does hold true.

Anyway, the new adventure begins June 1, 2010. We will be trying to quickly decide where we would like to move. Curently Utah is in the lead, however our families are trying to persuade us to move to california or pennsylvania. I think Liz and I are in agreement that we are not 'east coasters'. We do not like the mentalities, the systems, the weather, the scenery (lack of mountains) and a few other things. Time will tell. I have two more weeks at my current post and my colleagues and employees are nervous because they are unsure of how my boss will react. We just lost an employee who came out of retirement to try and assist in preserving the office of Registration at LU. The way she has been treated upon exit because of the death of her father is inexplicable and unacceptable especially from my boss and his behavior. This further sealed the choice we made.

So here we are, given the opportunity we have been searching for since we were at Utah State University. It wasn't a direct path, but we are getting there. Liz and I expect a few bumps as we get used to this position, but the opportunities it will provide our family are quite awesome. I am hoping that I can settle in quickly and provide the information that is required for me to gain strength and stability in this position amongst my current peers. The company re-shaped it's consulting strategy to be more in line with my philosophies so this lends to my advantage.

i am hoping that this will provide Liz, Dennis and I to be stronger as a family. Provide us the security that we have been seeking and afford us the opportunity to spend more time with extended family as time permits. This is a great blessing and we see it as such. We are also grateful to the thoughts, well wishes and prayers of family and friends as I went through the process to acquire this opportunity. There were some delays in the process and I suspect that may have something to do with the fact that the company is offering me 95% of the salary band I am entering into (approx. XXK for all those interested). When I posted this on facebook yesterday it generated a lot of chatter and Liz and I are grateful for the family trying to persuade us to come closer. All we can say at this point is we are looking at all of our options and will try to do what is best for our little family and be mindful of their desires too. It is exciting and unnerving at the same time as we have gone through some abrupt changes since we last thought we had settled down in Hyrum Utah, purchased a home and started to lay roots. I feel that I am in good position with this company as it will also provide me exposure to many different universities throughout the USA and the world. It will provide me tha opportunity to grow my network and try to have the impact I have wished to have access to since entering Higher Education. Further I may also now have the opportunity to start and finish a Master's Program over the next few years.

i have carried on for too long. If anyone wants details, let me know and I will follow up.

Cheers and we hope all of our friends and family are also doing well in the chices they each have before them.


  1. I am happy for you & your family & hope your soon to be ex-boss doesn't turn into a "real" jerk over the next 2 weeks. You know what my vote is!! Love ya bro.

  2. Change is hard but it is like the most sure thing of life. What a grand adventure you have ahead of you. I know you have worked hard for this new challenge and opportunity. I am so blessed to have you as a son. Where ever you decide to live you always have a place to crash at my place. Please give Liz and Dennis hugs and kisses. Luv you all.
    P.S. Call me soon.


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