David Hamilton Appointed Chief Information Officer
Issue   |   Wed, 04/15/2015 - 01:03

President Biddy Martin announced April 7 that David Hamilton has been appointed Amherst’s new chief information officer. Hamilton served as Amherst’s director of web services beginning in 2006, as interim co-director of information technology after 2010 and as interim chief information officer since the fall of 2014.

Before Amherst, Hamilton worked in trade publishing as well as with a family-owned media company, helping those businesses transition into digitally creating and organizing their content. He has also worked at other colleges, including Bowdoin and Skidmore. As the new chief information officer, he will oversee approximately 50 information technology staff members.

“Having David assume the leadership of IT will allow us to move forward on a range of initiatives that require strong leadership and cross-college collaboration,” Martin wrote in her email.

Hamilton’s work at Amherst has included the introduction of a content management system to the college website, allowing web content across various media to be created and edited from a central interface and workspace.

In an email interview, Hamilton said his priority will be “an emphasis on improving customer service in all the ways we can, particularly for those parts of IT that have significant public interactions with people on campus, but also more generally an effort to establish customer service as a core tenet of IT across all its operations.”

Hamilton added that he is planning on “improving our communications, documentation and policies so that members of the community are better aware of the tools and services we offer and how to get support for them.”

In order to better focus on customer service, Hamilton is also encouraging more “data-driven decision making,” which he defines as “using data to make good, informed choices about what services we offer, how we offer them, and how we support them.”

He cited Moodle as an example of a communications platform that could benefit from this data-driven decision making. Hamilton said that IT could examine the peak log-on hours for students and adjust support service times accordingly for frequently used sites like Moodle.

In addition, Hamilton also plans to expand cloud computing within the Amherst administration, in keeping with trends in the business world.

“Increasingly, businesses are moving from hosting and managing core services like email in their server room to licensing service and support from cloud vendors like Google or Microsoft,” he said.