Welcome to The Higher Edge Podcast!
Aug. 24, 2022

Higher Education as a Cloud-Based Community (featuring Rick Smith)

Higher education IT does more than just keep the lights on.

These men and women are also partners working to empower institutions with technology to realize operational and strategic goals and improve systems necessary for students and faculties to succeed.

In this episode, I’m joined by Rick Smith, Chief In formation Officer at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Rick gave us an insider’s perspective of the critical importance of IT to institutions with ambitious goals and how education compares to other industries.

Join us as we discuss:

- How PCOM escalated digital transformation after COVID (12:34)

- IT as a player in driving innovation for higher education (18:54)

- Tools for solving different IT challenges on an institutional level (24:29)

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- richardsm@pcom.edu

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website or search for The Higher Edge in your favorite podcast player.


[00:00:00] Announcer: Welcome to The Higher Edge, a podcast for the brightest minds in higher education. Hear from the change makers and rulebreakers that are driving meaningful, impactful change for colleges and universities across the country. From improving operations to supporting student success. These are the stories that give you, "The Higher Edge".

[00:00:30] And now your host, Brendan Aldrich 

[00:00:33] Brendan Aldrich: hey everyone, and welcome to The Higher Edge. I'm here today with Rick Smith, chief Information Officer for the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, uh, a graduate school, which is also one of the nation's oldest medical schools having been founded back in 1899. Rick, thanks so much for joining us here on the Higher Edge.

[00:00:51] Rick Smith: Hey, good evening, Brendan. Thank you for having. Hey. So 

[00:00:54] Brendan Aldrich: Rick, right off the bat, I know that there's a lot of people who work in IT across higher education, but not everybody [00:01:00] becomes a cio. Can you tell us a little bit about your 

[00:01:02] Rick Smith: journey? Sure, I'd love to. Um, I've spent my entire career, 30 plus years in information technology.

[00:01:10] Um, like many folks, I started off in the trenches and, and kind of worked my way up. So, you know, right out of college I started as a, a application programmer. , uh, spent a number of years programming. Then I moved into things like operations. I was a, a database administrator for a number of years, and then look at a lot of folks.

[00:01:29] I, uh, progressively made my way up the ladder into varying levels of management. So, uh, after a number of years after you gained some, uh, experience and you, you work with, uh, get, get some tenure within an organization, you get promoted to a management level. And I found myself moving up into middle management and then into higher levels of leadership.

[00:01:49] Uh, today I find myself as the Chief Information Officer here at P C 

[00:01:53] Brendan Aldrich: O M. A lot of times as people are progressing in their career, they reach a point where they're, they either feel like or they're told that they have to [00:02:00] be sort of less hands-on. You're becoming more of a people manager, not, uh, a hands-on person.

[00:02:04] Is it, was that true in your career as well? 

[00:02:06] Rick Smith: Yeah, and that's a very interesting question and, and Brendan, and one that really resonates me, and I'll tell you why during my career is I start making my way up into that middle, middle management level, um, and supervisor. Um, you know, I was very hands on. But then as I started getting into that upper levels, maybe around the director level, um, that's when I started really being approached by my peers and, and some of my superiors or my mentors where they were really starting to talk about, okay, at this level you really need to get outta the trenches.

[00:02:34] You really need to be a little bit less hands on. And I understand the convention, conventional wisdom states that, you know, the higher up you go in the ladder, that you know the further away from the trenches you get. But that didn't work. , you know, and that didn't sit well for me. So I actually, it was, it was an inflection point for me in my career because as, as more and more people brought that to me, I'm starting to think, you know, do I, am I on the wrong career path?

[00:02:59] You know, should I [00:03:00] stay more on the technical side? Should I not be in the management side? So for me, it was, I really had to pause for a minute and, and think about am I on the right career? Fortunately for me, no one came and, and forced my hand on this issue. So I, I remained in the, uh, leadership position and I, I remained very hands on.

[00:03:18] I found that really, really worked for me and not just for me, but it really worked for my team. You know, I found that, you know, um, by being in the trenches and really staying up to date, what's happened with technology and what the new innovations are, are coming out, I was able to get in the trenches with my team and talk.

[00:03:37] Design, talk about implementation, help them if they were having some issues. But I was also able to pull out and I was able to, you know, take that leadership role where I, I was, I was supposed to be thinking more strategically and, and financially and, and doing some planning. And by being in the trenches, I don't mean micromanaging, I, it just means being able to talk with your engineers and your developers.

[00:03:58] If you're in an engineering [00:04:00] meeting, you need to be able to talk bits and bys. But if you get into a business meeting with some of the leadership and you start tapping bits and bites, you just lost folks. , you know, so I was able to really find my niche and it really worked for my team. And I'll give you an example.

[00:04:14] There's a gentleman that, uh, joined P C O M. He's a, he's a development manager, started probably about six months ago. And, you know, in this new world, he works remote. So, you know, um, he has this team that reports to him and he reports directly to me. I meet with him maybe every two weeks. And, uh, about a week or two ago, I met with him and I said, you know, just, Hey, how's it.

[00:04:35] you know, what's working, what's not working. And I shared with him, I said, I want you to know that because I'm, you're not hearing from me every day, does not mean I'm not interested in what you're doing. I just, you know, I don't micromanage. It's not my style. He said, you know what? I really appreciate your approach.

[00:04:47] He said, he said, you're the first cio, someone at this level that really gets into the trenches and can talk with us about solutions and help us think through. In prior positions, my CIO would jump in, say, just do it and get [00:05:00] out with real, not really understanding , the technical aspect. So you know, that really is just affirmation that being a hands-on leader is, is a leadership style.

[00:05:09] And for me, I embraced it and it's been working 

[00:05:11] Brendan Aldrich: that hands-on knowledge and sometimes you can even think about that as just. domain knowledge of how things go together. I, I remember earlier in my career, I was a business analyst thinking about becoming a project manager, and I had a boss who told me, look, if, if you want to be a good technical project manager, you have to learn the technology.

[00:05:28] You have to know what the technology does. He said, frankly, if you don't know the technology and a problem comes up, you might as well go get a coffee, because that's the most useful thing you can do in that meeting. Exactly, Rick, I know, uh, I know a lot of people in higher education, like, like me and many others, worked in other industries before taking their first role.

[00:05:44] Ju, uh, or a university as I know you did as well, uh, what were some of the other roles and industries, uh, that you had worked in and had experienced in before your current role at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic 

[00:05:55] Rick Smith: Medicine? Sure. That's one of the things I, I think I like most about being in it, [00:06:00] uh, for 30 years, is I worked in multiple different verticals and, uh, you know, when I, when I first got outta college, I, I started working, for example, software development company that did Salesforce automation for consumer packaged goods.

[00:06:12] You know, so that's kind of where I, I, I got my, my first start doing some programming and whatnot, and I spent a number of years at that organization and I learned quite a bit about software development and, and operations and best practices and whatnot. But after, you know, probably about a 12 years of working in that, that industry, I kind of got recruited out and, and started working for a small internet startup back in the late nineties.

[00:06:37] And that was really exciting because I was like the, the seventh person into the organization. I was like the first tech person in And is it 

[00:06:44] Brendan Aldrich: a startup anybody would've heard 

[00:06:45] Rick Smith: of? Uh, probably not because before it got too big, it, it, it got purchased by a large organization. This is right during the.com, you know, so I got.com and things were, you know, the balloon had not burst yet.

[00:06:57] So, you know, I was brought in [00:07:00] to, you know, really started, we started what was called a virtual internet service provider, which was really interest. . Um, and it started with seven people. And then, you know, fast forward about two years, you know, we wound up having about, you know, 50, 60 people and, and we were really starting to grow the business during the.com and we, we, we wound up getting acquired by a very, very large, uh, telecommunications organization, which was great.

[00:07:23] So it was a great experience. Learned a lot from there. Not just about the technology, but about the business side of things as well. So, spent some time there at the internet startup and then, uh, you know, when that got acquired, That was based back in California. I wasn't ready to move yet, so I moved on to my next venture.

[00:07:39] Um, at that point I kind of bounced between a couple, um, positions, you know, clinical trials. I, I worked in a, a software company that developed a clinical trial software, then I worked for an engineer manufacturing company. And around 2006 is where, you know, I named at my next long, uh, position, found my way outta the for-profit world, into the not-for-profit.

[00:07:58] So in 2006, I [00:08:00] started working for, uh, a large health and human services organization that is, is nationwide. And I spent 12 years, 12 years there as the head of the ITS group. And, and it's there where, you know, this, this whole hands-on leadership thing really start, um, taking, uh, taking hold and my leadership style a.

[00:08:20] Probably after about a couple years, I decided at that point, you know, I wanna go back and, uh, uh, get my mba. So I went back to my alma mater, which is right down the street from P C O M and went back to St. Joe's University and got my mba. So I spent 12 years in, in the Health and Human Services, not-for-profit, um, uh, organization.

[00:08:36] And through some leadership changes and whatnot that was taking place there, that's when I decided to see what was next for me in my career. And funny enough, on my way, St. Joe's University every day you go to school. I passed this college called P C O M, 

[00:08:51] Brendan Aldrich: you know, and it's, it's, it's so true too.

[00:08:53] Information technology is something that's used by so many different industries, like data in the work that I had done, that you do find yourself [00:09:00] shifting to all these different industries sometimes because it's something that's so needed and so, uh, used by everyone. Now that you are in education, how do you find that the work at P C O M and within higher education, do you find it to be different, uh, than some of the work that you've done in other, in.

[00:09:14] The 

[00:09:14] Rick Smith: pace is a little different depending on the academic time of the academic year. You know, it's, we're a medical school, so we're not an undergrad. Um, so the, the, the counters are a little bit different, but we do have our ebbs and flows in terms of pace and whatnot. So that's been a little different.

[00:09:27] But what I've found here is that, you know, everyone is very mission driven. Everybody is absolutely focused on the students and student outcomes. The one thing that I also found, however, is. . The challenges here at P C O M are just like any other organization I work with in any other industry, you know? So you still had the challenges with, you know, the rationalization of applications.

[00:09:50] You still had siloed systems, you still had siloed data, you still had some challenges and opportunities re related to reporting analytics. [00:10:00] process improvements. Um, these are all things that are not germane to higher education. They, they really cross industries, but same problems here, same problems, uh, that I dealt with in the past.

[00:10:10] So again, that's one aspect I I really appreciate about it is, you know, when I came through the interview process, although the, I have a lot to learn from a higher education perspective, I feel that, you know, my background in all these areas that I just talked about, you know, I can immediately add value to, to pc higher education.

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[00:11:30] Brendan Aldrich: I've heard from different CIOs that sometimes the approach a college can take to its IT teams and to its technology can vary pretty dramatically. Like you will have some institutions that look at the IT team as the keep the lights on, keep the network running, just keep the printers print.

[00:11:45] Type of approach, and you've got others that really do partner with it and treat them as partners in this journey of serving students. Uh, how are things at P C O M? So, it's 

[00:11:54] Rick Smith: interesting, prior to March of 2020, you know, when I started back in 2019, pre [00:12:00] pandemic, uh, you know, there was a, there was a, there was a real focus on technology and a real understanding of how important technology was in the life of the student and delivering the content of the student.

[00:12:09] But when I wasn't here very long before the pandemic, . Um, and when the pandemic hit for P C O M, just like any other, um, organization, it really, really escalated our digital transformation. So we had a digital transformation plan, but when the pandemic hit, you know, you, you, you turn the dial up quite a bit, you know, so, you know, you know, everybody went virtual for a long period of time and we still have to deliver, you know, um, uh, courses and lectures to our students.

[00:12:37] So we got our virtual conferencing down, we got our remote capabilities. and, you know, on the, on the backside of the pandemic, and like I said, it was here before the pandemic, but even more so now, there is a heightened understanding of the importance of technology as it relates to the outcomes of our students.

[00:12:54] So, you know, I'm very lucky and fortunate that executive leadership here understands that [00:13:00] and has made the investment in the technology. 

[00:13:02] Brendan Aldrich: There was so much going on. There's, uh, you and I have talked about. Three things that you look to or you focus on each day as you're diving in with your teams on all of those challenges and all those, uh, those activities that need to be done.

[00:13:15] Uh, tell us more about the three things that you 

[00:13:17] Rick Smith: focus on. When I ever had this kind of conversation with, uh, folks on my team or, or within the organization, I, I, I tell them that there's really three things that make me get up and come to work each day. Uh, the first is I, I really need to feel that I'm adding value to the organization that, you know, my background, my e.

[00:13:35] I'm adding value, and that's something that's really important. Number two is I need to be learning. . I love to learn both about the business, higher education. Like I said, I'm new to higher education, so I have a ton of learning. I'm gonna, I'm not gonna stop learning for quite some time, but I also like to continue to learn about the technology, and this goes with the hands-on leadership style.

[00:13:54] I love to learn, you know, what's around the corner from a technology perspective, because things are constantly [00:14:00] changing. , you know, in my prior life, um, you know, I developed a data warehouse using some traditional tools. When I got here, I was presented with the same opportunity, but instead of just using those traditional tools, took the time to work with the folks on my team to figure out what's next, what's around the corner.

[00:14:17] And we've come up with some great technologies and some great solutions that we're in the process of implementing. So that's number two. And then the third thing, as a leader, I need to feel that I am, inspire my team to. because they want to perform, not simply because they're, it's their job. 

[00:14:31] Brendan Aldrich: Inspiration is always an interesting question, right?

[00:14:33] I mean, how do you inspire someone to want to do something? What's your approach? 

[00:14:38] Rick Smith: For me, it's about making sure that everybody on my team knows how they fit into the bigger picture and never has that been more important than now, where we are still remote in, in many ways. We have folks that are, you know, have not been back to campus and maybe not coming back to campus for the foreseeable future.

[00:14:57] If you're a backend developer, you may be at home, you know, being [00:15:00] productive and doing the work units, and you may not know how you're, what you're doing fits into the bigger I and, and my last job, I'll, I'll tell you that you know this, this came up. , you know, we had a new employee came on and there was a, there was someone assigned to train that employee.

[00:15:12] And they, and, and part of the training, they said, okay, when you're supposed to hit A, B, C, D, E and then enter. And the, the person, me and train said, well, why do I do that? And they said, I have no idea. We just did this. Wait for 10 years. I have no idea why. Uh, you know, I just know how to do it. And, and that was very deflating for that employee.

[00:15:30] They really want to know the why am I doing something and how does what I do impact the bigger. So, and I'll give you another example. You know, a Service desk agent here at P C O M, you know, their job is to take the phone calls, understand what the, what the issue is that's being presented, and fix that issue.

[00:15:49] If you're only focused on the how, you may say, at the end of the day, I fixed five problems and, you know, made five people happy. But what's most important, and we talk about this all the time, is it's very helpful for [00:16:00] that service desk agent to know. , you know, those problems that you fixed have a direct impact or indirect impact on the students.

[00:16:07] So if that was a student that called in and they couldn't access some very critical materials that they needed to finish a particular project or a test, uh, you know, it's helpful for them to understand that if it was a faculty member that called in, you know, and it, it's helpful to know that, hey, that faculty member was preparing for a very important lecture of the following day, and if you weren't able to resolve that problem, you know, that lecture may not have taken place and those students would've been.

[00:16:30] You get. The idea is, is I think the service desks feel more empowered. They feel more energized. They feel more inspired to get these things resolved in a timely fashion because they understand their mission is to serve those that we are trying to educate. 

[00:16:43] Brendan Aldrich: I love that idea about making sure everybody knows how their piece contributes to that overall picture.

[00:16:47] In fact, if we take that back a step and think about it as a whole, because you know, it, we talked about, can be seen as a service organization or as a partner in innovation. Um, what do you [00:17:00] see when you take a look at it and the role it plays in the larger context of students and higher education? What, what, what is it that we are going to be driving from an IT standpoint?

[00:17:11] Rick Smith: Generally speaking, the number of students attending college across the board, not at P C O M necessarily is decreasing why the cost to attend, uh, a college or university is increasing. So from an I fts perspective, you know, one of our. Is to ensure that we are selecting and implementing, and most importantly, leveraging the right technology for, so that our staff and our faculty can work smarter in, in the process of educating our students, it's all about, you know, improving efficiency and productivity while cutting cost.

[00:17:41] This eliminates what I call or is industry called shadow. Its, and this is not unique to P C O M. It happens across all industries. Shadow. Its is really the term that's used to refer. what happens when departments or programs are not getting what they need from? Its so if a program needs [00:18:00] something and its, is not being responsive or not delivered, or not helping these departments or programs oftentimes go out to the vendors themselves.

[00:18:08] And it's easy, even easier now that, you know, we're in this cloud, cloud first world, you know, it's very easy for a department to go to a vendor and say, Hey, I have. The vendor will say, you know, you don't need, its, we're cloud-based. There's nothing you need to do, so come forward with us. And this happens.

[00:18:25] And then, and then departments sign contracts with cloud-based vendors and its only finds out about it, you know, a month or six months later when there's, oh, there is some integration that needs to take place. But the big part of that is there is some additional costs that's taking place. So if you don't control that and if its is really not working to make sure that we're putting the right technology in the right place, you wind up with all these shadow project.

[00:18:48] And this cost, uh, this winds up costing the college and university a lot of money. And where do, who, who bears the cost from that? That goes back to the students. So from a financial perspective, that is a big piece of what its [00:19:00] needs to do. The second piece to this is to make sure that we are providing the systems and the data necessary to help drive student outcomes.

[00:19:09] So one of the problems. happens across the board. Every industry I've been in, every organization I started with is you wind up having a lot of data, but most of the times that data is locked up in systems. They're very siloed. They don't speak to each other. And when you, when you try to pull that data together and aggregate that data so that you can make very informed and actionable decisions, it's not possible unless you have the right technology in place.

[00:19:36] That's a big piece of what we are. is making sure that we implement the, the, the systems and the technology and the processes to pull all that data together. And make that data available to the right people, when and where they need it, so that they can help with the student outcomes, student engagement, and so on.

[00:19:51] That 

[00:19:52] Brendan Aldrich: perspective's fantastic. The idea of optimizing and making sure that the right technology is being used to help drive down the burden of [00:20:00] cost onto the students. As a cio, your responsibility doesn't just stop at the walls of the institution. There's this broader community of higher education that is, is also critical.

[00:20:11] What do now, what do you think about your role as it relates to that broader community of higher ed? And 

[00:20:15] Rick Smith: that's a great question. And this is something that I, is kind of new to me coming into higher education because it, this did not exist in my, in my previous world. So when I started here at P C O M, one of the things that I found out, you know, pretty early.

[00:20:29] is that P C O M had a relationship with a, a, a research partner called infotech. And Infotech was a conduit for something which was much more important, which is there's a large network of higher education CIOs out there that through infotech meet on a regular basis. And that was invaluable to me. Um, you know, so these are, these are CIOs from undergrad, from grad, from small and large colleges and universities, and they get together regularly to discuss key topics and learnings from each.

[00:20:58] So, like I said, this is something I did [00:21:00] not have access to, but being new to higher education, when I joined this, this group of CIOs that met, you know, I, I learned a ton about higher education that, you know, um, that would've, you know, been very difficult for me to learn otherwise. . Um, I've learned from people who've been sitting in my seat long before I have and still are, or, or maybe are retired, but are part of the, the, the round tables.

[00:21:21] But I learned what worked and what didn't work in, in other, in other instances. So this is something that I think was, uh, extremely valuable from my perspective. I think what I had to offer this group is I came in bringing a completely different perspective. So this is a bunch of higher education CIOs and here comes.

[00:21:40] From, you know, who's new to higher education, but I do have a lot of IT experience. So they were very interested to hear what I was doing in these other industries. So it was a really win-win. I learned a lot and I'm continuing to learn a lot from those folks. But I do think I'm adding some value by bringing some different perspectives.

[00:21:55] And at the end of the day, you know, I take some of those nuggets and I bring 'em back to P C O M [00:22:00] and I implement, you know, where I think it makes sense to do. 

[00:22:02] Brendan Aldrich: So. This idea of cross pollination, you've got a bunch of experience you're bringing in from all these other industries. You're gaining experience from all these other CIOs that are giving you this tool, chest, this to be able to use in order to, to drive innovation and to solve different challenges within the institution.

[00:22:18] With all of that, at your disposal, what are some of the ideas you have? How are you going to disrupt higher education? 

[00:22:24] Rick Smith: For me, one of the biggest things we can do is really start the. All this data that we have locked up in all these different applications and systems because we have, we were sitting on a mountain of data that if, if, if it's curated properly, you know, we can use that to really help inform and enrich student outcomes and student enrichment.

[00:22:46] So for me, uh, I mentioned that earlier, but you know, one of the things that we're looking to do is, is really implement a modern day data. W. Um, that contain, you know, so it'll be, it'll be, there'll be multiple components of that. So there'll be a data lake where we're [00:23:00] pulling data from all of our disparate systems into a data lake.

[00:23:04] Uh, the very fact that we're aggregating all that data in the one place is powerful by itself. You know, having that data in one place makes it accessible to, you know, all types of analytics. It's, uh, machine learning to artificial intelligence and whatnot. What we're gonna do from that point is, you know, once we have all that.

[00:23:22] In the data lake, if we're gonna have that enriched with publicly available data, so we can go out and start looking at socioeconomic data, we can look at, uh, all types of publicly available data and enrich that data. That's gonna really help our institutional research group to do some analytics so that we can start, make the transition from what I call descriptive reporting, which is what we're doing now.

[00:23:44] We're, we're taking all that data and we're building descriptive reports. The look back stuff, you know, what happened yesterday, last year? What are the. You know that's important and we're doing that. But what we really need to get to and what I think is a disruptor, is when we, we get to the point where we're using artificial intelligence and machine [00:24:00] language to do predictive and prescriptive analytics, wouldn't it be extremely valuable to use some of that prescriptive and predictive analytics to say, Hey, based on all these variables that we've been tracking in our tools, here are some students that are maybe not engaged, and here are some students that.

[00:24:17] There are some early indicators that they may be struggling out of the gates and give them the supports early on in their journey to be successful. That's a disruptor. AI machine language and modern day data warehouses is gonna be a disruptor for education across the board. 

[00:24:33] Brendan Aldrich: What a great example then of the kind of strategy.

[00:24:35] I was just thinking. We started this conversation talking about being one of the oldest medical schools in the country, but yet talking about utilizing some of the most advanced technology a. I think is a fantastic strategy and vision. Hey, Rick, before we, uh, bring our show to an end, I just wanted to ask you, uh, what advice that you might have that you would share from your experiences that might help give others who are listening, uh, a HigherEd in their own careers in higher education.

[00:24:59] Any 

[00:24:59] Rick Smith: advice? [00:25:00] Well, first of all, I'd say say thank you for the opportunity to speak today, because it really did give me the opportunity to kind of, kind of reflect on my 30 plus years in, in it. during that reflection. Uh, there's three things I came up with. Four things. Number one is find your leadership style and embrace it.

[00:25:17] You know, like I said, if you're able to inspire folks to action, if you're, if you're able to add value and continue to learn, you know, whatever that leadership style is, you know, embrace it. Like I said, for. early on when I was, when I was, I was hands on. I was at that inflection point. I thought about, you know, taking a different path, but it turned out to be, you know, a real positive thing for me and a plus, not a negative.

[00:25:41] So embrace your leadership style. That's number one. Number two is really take time each day to reflect on your strengths and your weaknesses. Obviously take advantage of the former, but work on the ladder. So for me, I'll, I'll share with you, you know, one of the things that I. By reflecting. I learned about myself.

[00:25:59] I knew [00:26:00] I, I knew this about myself. And intuitively I'm an introvert by nature. So, you know, so if, if I put my head down and I work every single day, and I don't think about it, and I don't take the time to reflect, I wanna find six months later that I shut my door and I never left it. And, you know, I, I just sat behind my computer.

[00:26:20] By, by making myself reflect every single day, you know, I remind myself that yes, you are an introvert. You do need to get up. You do. You do need to go out. You do need to meet people, because if you don't, you're gonna miss major relationship building opportunities. That's huge. Which brings me to number three is really get out and meet people.

[00:26:38] As a cio, one of the most important things for me to do is to get out and to meet people. So when I first started in 2019, it's the first thing I. My first 120 days was, was taking the show on the road and going out and meeting all the department heads and academic heads and really listening. But that doesn't stop there.

[00:26:56] You need to do that on a regular basis. You need to go out at least annually or, or [00:27:00] ad hoc and meet people and listen to people. What's working, what's not working. And that brings me to my final point, is part of the communications is the active listening part. You know, when you, when you, you really need to make a conscious effort to hear and underst.

[00:27:12] and retain information that's being relayed to you, because especially for me, being new to higher education, there's a lot for me to learn and there's a lot of, there's a lot being imparted on me, and I, I need to make sure that, you know, I'm actively listening and, and really encoding everything I'm hearing.

[00:27:27] So they're my four points. You know, embrace your leadership style. Take time to reflect, get out and meet people and, and, and actively listen and, and, and take people for whatever. 

[00:27:38] Brendan Aldrich: For all of our listeners, we've been talking with Rick Smith, chief Information Officer for the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

[00:27:43] Uh, Rick if listeners would like to reach out to you with questions about today's episode or to continue the conversation, uh, what's the best way for them to, 

[00:27:51] Rick Smith: to contact you? I would love to hear from anybody. If anybody has any questions or feedback, uh, the best way to reach me would be through my, uh, p c om email address, which is [00:28:00] richard sm pcm.edu.

[00:28:05] I'd love to hear from anybody. 

[00:28:07] Brendan Aldrich: Thanks so much, Rick. Such a pleasure to have you on the show. Thanks again for coming on and being a guest with us on the higher edge. And for everyone listening, I'm Brendan Aldrich and we'll talk soon. 

[00:28:16] Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Higher Edge. For more, subscribe to us on your favorite podcast platform.

[00:28:21] Leave us a review if you loved the show, and be sure to connect with Brendan on LinkedIn. Know someone who's making big changes at their higher ed institution that belongs on this podcast. Drop us a line at podcasts@thehigheredge.com. The Higher Edge is sponsored by Invoke Learning in partnership with Westport Studios.

[00:28:43] Views and opinions expressed by individuals during the podcast are their own. See how Invoke Learning is empowering higher education@invokelearning.com.[00:29:00]