Management Principles in Practice: An Interview with an IT Director.

Essay by gracenoteUniversity, Master'sA+, October 2005

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In this paper, I attempt to determine if the principles we are learning in class apply in real life by conducting an interview with an IT manager. The subject is Rick MacDonald, who is the director of Systems and Operations at Cornell Information Technologies, which serves a significant amount of the computing needs of Cornell University. MacDonald has been working at Cornell University for eleven years and in his current position for five years.

Organizational Overview

Cornell University has 19,518 students at its campus in Ithaca, NY, along with 2,627 faculty and 8,572 staff. Cornell Information Technologies supports the business infrastructure, informational software, and instructional and operational needs of much (but not all) of Cornell's voice, video, and data customers. CIT has several divisions, including Customer Services and Marketing (CS&M) and Systems and Operations (S&O), the area covered in this paper. S&O is subdivided into 5 components: Advanced Technology & Architectures, Information Network and Communication Systems, Customer Service and Marketing, Distributed Learning Services, and Systems and Operations.

Please refer to the Appendix for a graphical overview of CIT (Fig. 1) and for an organizational chart (Fig. 2) of S&O.

S&O is further broken down into Academic Computing Services, Systems Services, Systems Support and Productions Operations Services (Ops). Each of these areas is run by a manager. ACS consists of Student Computing Operations, which runs the public computing labs on campus available for use by anyone at Cornell, and CIT Technical Support Services, the internal group providing support exclusively to CIT staff. Systems Services consists of the Messaging Group with provides the campus e-mail, list processing, electronic calendar, USENET services; and the Designated Services group, which provides cost-recovered services (dial-up, backup, network-printing, and storage farm services). In Systems Support the engineers and sysadmins provide DNS and DHCP services as well...