Somebody had to take the place of Bruce Vieweg after he finally retired. Somebody had to rise to the challenge of living up to Vieweg’s apologetic interruptions to our days. That person is Erik Ramstad.
Ramstad started working at Concordia College in 1997. Since 2010, he has maintained the position of Director of Enterprise Systems and Services. This year, he started his new position as Executive Director of Information Technology. Ramstad started his transition into the job just a few months ago, and it has had its fair share of challenges.
“Our capacity is stretched thin right now,” Ramstad said. “More so than it typically is.”
James Jehlik, Manager of User Support Services, also commented on the challenges of transitioning to new management, but is confident Ramstad will do well in his new position.
“We’re still in the identification phase of things,” Jehlik said. “But it’s been pretty smooth so far, he has strong support from all the people in ITS and he’s somebody we know and trust and believe in, so we feel good about that.”
Other than normal transitional complications, challenges include finding a replacement for Ramstad’s position of Director of Enterprise Systems and Services that he left to take his current position. Ramstad said a group of applicants were ready to be reviewed, and that hopefully a replacement will be hired within the next couple of weeks.
Last year, Concordia created a hiring committee to search for Vieweg’s replacement. Cindy Schwartz, business manager at the solution center and part of that committee, provided some insight on the reasons Ramstad was chosen as Vieweg’s successor.
“Erik’s knowledge about Concordia and how we do things here was a pretty big factor,” Schwartz said. “Being a small private college, the processes are different than large universities, and Erik already knows and understands what those processes are.”
Besides trust and support from faculty and staff, both Schwartz and Jehlik commented on Ramstad’s commitment to not only Concordia, but to the people here as well.
“Erik knows us and respects us,” Jehlik said. “he doesn’t just want us for our job, he’s very invested in the people he works with.”
Despite the challenges Ramstad has faced so far, he has already had some small successes. Among these successes are things like streamlining communication so that people can be redirected to the correct resources and creating an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, for potential scam emails to be routed to so the right people can deal with them.
Even small successes are welcome when coming into a new position. Ramstad said when he found out he got the position, he was both excited and scared.
“I’m excited to see where technology takes us and get into a place where we aren’t held back by infrastructure of networks and systems,” Ramstad said. “I’m scared of disappointing people, but I’ll do my best to do what’s right.”
As of right now, he is optimistic about what the future holds for him, the students and the rest of the faculty and staff as the new executive director. He has a list of projects already that he hopes to start work on soon, including attempts to update people’s knowledge about technology through the support center and social media like Facebook and Twitter. He also has personal values he plans to continue to work on in his new position.
“I’m always thinking about how to best support people and being patient with staff all the time,” Ramstad said. “I may not always have an answer, but I’ll try my best to get there and make improvements.”