Leadership in #highered IT (among other things)

JASON SHAFFNER

 

I am a Maineac by birth, Bostonian by tenure, husband, dad, "IT guy," book nerd, amateur chef, and LEGO fan. 

BIO

Executive Summary

First and foremost, I'm a father to Eliot (eight years old and growing like a weed) and devoted husband to Keryn (whom I first met in 5th grade and married twenty years later). For my day job (and some nights...) I lead information technology teams in higher education; more specifically, I currently manage administrative systems at Harvard University, where I am fortunate to hold additional affiliations as alumnus and active degree candidate.

 

My Story in Six Paragraphs in

I grew up in Bucksport, a small town on the coast of Maine. Thanks in no small part to our semi-annual road trips to Houston (Dad's hometown), I agitated for urban noise over rural calm. In parallel, academic ambition led me to build the qualifications necessary to beat the statistical odds and matriculate at Harvard College. At Harvard I studied "Social Studes" and wrote my undergraduate thesis on labor-management relations in the Maine paper industry.

 

After graduation, I became an IT Consultant, responsible for implementing student information systems and ERP platforms at several large research universities, including extended assignments in Tucson, Chicago, Baltimore, and Puerto Rico. Although my previous technical expertise consisted of a few lines of BASIC in junior high and a terribly embarrassing Web 0.0 website in college, I was a quick study. Before I knew what had happened, I had become an "I.T." guy. The journey may not have followed an intentional plan, but that has been part of the fun!

 

Fast-forward to 2006, when a familiar name from nearly twenty years in the past contacted me through MySpace (anyone remember that social network?). Soon I abandoned my life as a roaming consultant, took a year off to write a bad novel, and bought a diamond ring. Keryn and I got married in June 2008 and went our first of now-many European adventures.

 

The day after returning from our honeymoon, I started as a project manager at my alma mater. At Harvard I have been part of a dramatic multi-year transformation of the institution's information technology. I have played a lead role on projects to transform financial planning and budgeting, procurement, financial management, human resources management, student services, research compliance, and more. In my current role, I oversee a team of ~170 business analysts, software developers, and project managers responsible for 300+ applications that support administrative operations for the university. (Check out the WORK tab for more details).

 

Eliot joined our family in August 2010. He the kindest, funniest, and smartest person I have ever met. And if you don't believe me on account of paternal bias, just ask pretty much any adult who has met him.

 

Outside of work and family, I'm an avid reader, with a focus on crime fiction and a research specialization in Victorian murder mysteries, notably the novels of Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I hope to complete a master's degree in English in the next two years, which will conclude with a thesis on her work! I am a huge LEGO fan; there is LEGO in every room of my house and office and in May 2018 I fulfilled a life-long dream by whisking my family to Billund, Denmark for a visit to the orignial LEGO miniland and LEGO House. Finally, I dabble in the kitchen, although pretty much every experiment involves pasta and sauce...

 

Check out the other tabs for further details...

 

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