Temple Times Online Edition
    JANUARY 19, 2006
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Computer Services’ Stahler honored as a Premier 100 IT Leader

sherri stahler

Continuing Temple’s recent ascension as a technology leader in higher education, Sheri Stahler, associate vice president for Computer Services, has been named one of the Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2006.

Stahler becomes the third person from the University to be honored with this prestigious award in the past five years, joining Vice President for Computer and Information Services Tim O’Rourke (2004) and Fox School of Business Associate Dean for Information Technology John DeAngelo (2002).

The Premier 100 IT Leaders award, presented annually by IDG’s Computerworld, honors executives who show exemplary technology leadership in resolving pressing business problems, as well as demonstrate the ability to foster creativity and challenging work environments, envision fresh approaches to business challenges, and efficiently manage information technology investments.

“I was really thrilled; it meant a lot,” Stahler said about learning that she had been selected from among the nearly 500 nominees for the award. “I think for Computerworld to recognize a university like Temple and the impact of technology on a university is very important.”

As associate vice president for academic computer services, Stahler is responsible for providing technological support for the entire Temple community, including the academic units within the colleges and schools. This includes running Blackboard, managing the computer labs and smart classrooms, overseeing the University’s Web portal and e-mail functions and running Computer Services’ Help Desk, as well as providing on-campus training and the documentation that is produced for computing at Temple.

Stahler also is responsible for the University’s new state-of-the-art TECH Center at 12th Street and Montgomery Avenue, which features a student computer center with up to 700 computers; 13 breakout rooms; six specialized computer labs; student lounge areas with wireless networking for laptop use; a 24-hour computer Help Desk for students, faculty, and staff; the Teaching and Learning Center to support faculty and teaching assistants in enhancing their teaching; the Instructional Support Center, which provides consulting services, training, and access to state-of-the-art computer equipment for use by faculty who are interested in incorporating technology into the teaching/learning process; and a 24-hour cyber café.

“We’re really excited about the opening of this new facility,” she said.

Stahler joined Temple in 1988 from the University of Maryland, just as the University was transitioning from outsourcing its computer work in the academic area to handling those functions on-campus.

“We had begun handling the technology support area — the Help Desk, desktop support, the computer labs; I was even running the e-mail functions back then,” she said. “We were servicing students, faculty and staff, but on a much smaller scale than we are today.”
Of her 17-year tenure at Temple, Stahler said she is most proud of the quality and commitment to service that her department has been able to provide to the University community as technology use had increased dramatically.

“In 1999, for example, we started Blackboard with only 11 courses, and today we have over 3,400 courses running on it,” Stahler said. “As another example, in 1991, I had about 3,400 requests for technology support, and now we receive over 140,000 a year.

“Just the fact that we’ve been able, I think, to deliver excellent support services to the University community given the fact that we’ve had technology exploding in terms of usage, that’s what I’m most proud of,” she said. “Not so much the increase in numbers, but that our quality of service has increased to meet the expanding demand.

“I think we’re innovative and we try to adapt to the technology needs of our students, faculty and staff, and I think Computerworld recognized that with this award,” Stahler added.

“I know I speak for the rest of my colleagues in Computer Services when I say that we are thrilled that Sheri has received this recognition as a Premier 100 IT Leader,” said O’Rourke, who as a past honoree served as a judge for this year’s Computerworld awards. “Under Sheri’s leadership, Temple University has been recognized as a national leader in its use of academic technology; and nearly every student and employee at Temple has experienced the outstanding service offered by the Help Desk and the Micro/Lan consultants, which Sheri has direct responsibility for.

“Temple University is proud of its use of technology, and this recognition of one of our key IT leaders is truly deserved.”

- By Preston M. Moretz