Hall Cheshire Interview


I’m Hall Cheshire, I’m the chief information officer here at UMW. I’ve been in this role for about three years. My real job and I’m not the acting CIO, is the executive director of IT infrastructure. Inside the title is server, storage, desktop computers, laptops, telephony, networking it’s all the technical infrastructure that’s on campus is within my area. I’ve been with the University for seven years. Happy to talk to you about The HCC.


(What features best showcase the buildings potential?)
-That’s a great question, as you know there’s a lot of neat spaces in this building, a lot of collaboration spaces that are configured in a way that’s convenient for faculty staff and students to sit down plug-in the laptops and easily collaborate and see what each other is working on to share ideas and hopefully innovate ideas that they are putting forward and discussing. So just the collaboration space is alone I think are pretty nice. But then you get to the other features of the building like the room were sitting in right now, this video production room is pretty amazing piece of technology. Digital auditorium, provides a space that can see the number of people and it has pretty sophisticated sound system in it and projection system. So I would say those two spaces the one right now, and the digital auditorium are definitely pretty neat. A feature of the building that’s pretty neat to is the video wall that’s in the main lobby as well. In addition to technology another thing the building afforded was the opportunity to call locate a number of departments that work with technology routinely have a lot of synergies and work with each other very often. So that’s DTLT (department of teaching learning technologies), The digital knowledge center, a number of our IT offices are in this building, our security group, our helpdesk is here, our network group, our data center are all here in the same building and as you know we have a connection a physical connection directly to the library. So just the physical space and opportunity to co-locate people are focused on technology and hopefully that generates ideas and collaboration that provide benefits to everybody.


(How do you see the building being used in 10 years?)

-Well as far as the building being used I hope the building is going to age well, in the sense that it’s been very successful in terms of the reaction is gotten back from students and faculty. People like to come here because of the technology that’s here and the opportunities that affords them to collaborate and study. So, I wouldn’t see that changing over the next 5 to 10 years I still think it will be a centerpiece building in that respect. The technology as you know ages, and he gets obsolete. So while these physical technology Spaces like the one room now, my not change much as in terms of its footprint. The technology that’s in these rooms need to be refreshed, from time to time. There will be new innovations and all these different technological areas, and will have to look to upgrade. It could be something as simple as the capacity of our wireless network, that technology is changing all the time so we may need to refresh those wireless access points over time to provide people with a better signal, strength, speed, more current connection. Infrastructure within the building, overtime my change maybe done five years but certainly in 10 we would be doing some of it.


(Any last thoughts on the HCC?)
-I would like to say that it’s been very successful, in the sense that people love to come here. So I think it’s meeting it’s original vision, it’s original mission which was to create an academic common space that everyone could use being infused with technology and somewhere that stimulate innovation and collaborative discussion. I think it’s a pretty cool building, for me personally while I love Georgian architecture, White columns and all that kind of stuff I love the fact that inside this building is very contemporary design and I think it’s another reason why people are drawn to it. It’s different, it’s different from the other buildings on campus in that respect. It has a very open layout, a lot of glass, a lot of transparency, which again lends to that collaborative environment. I think it’s a beautiful building meeting it’s original ideas and vision and I think it’s going to continue to be successful.