Communication is critical before an emergency, says university CIO

Student safety is an important priority for educational institutions, and collaboration between different departments and administrators is a key component to maintaining a safe campus, says Sam Segran, the chief information officer at Texas Tech University.

“We come together regularly so we now who all the players are,” Segran says in a recent video interview with EdScoop.

And for Segran, this means building relationships with Texas Tech’s traffic and parking authorities, police officers, student safety officers and members of the campus operations department.

“We are then able to make sure that we make sure whatever needs to happen during an emergency happens and having connections like that helps tremendously,” he says.

Segran says that thinking about how to better integrate data into the student safety agenda will be important to ensure that more complex systems and processes run effectively and help students.

Segran on his top priorities:

“Right now it’s really about student success and it’s how we want to retain them as long as possible to graduate.”

Segran on his approach to the “smart” campus:

“One of the thins is really about how much sensors do we put out there that is actually useful in terms of making life better and not infringe too much on privacy issues.”

Segran on how emerging technology is changing his role:

“We want to make sure that whatever technology we are using actually enhances the life of the university, meets the goals of the institution. But at the same time, we also have to be in the position where I’m able to translate that to other senior executives at the university.”

This video was recorded in October 2019 at Educause’s annual conference in Chicago, Illinois.