Wrapping up #EDU15: Cal Poly Pomona adopts student-centric approach


Ideas were flowing as we kicked off day two of #EDU15 with an awesome virtual session by John McGuthry, CIO of Cal Poly Pomona (CPP). McGuthry shared his mission for the past year: Making CPP more student-centric.

When President Dr. Soraya M. Coley first arrived on CPP’s campus in January 2015, she shared her vision for becoming a more student-centric institution. McGuthry took this moment as an opportunity to evaluate the way his department serves students.

It sounds cliché at first, because all higher ed CIOs are trying to make their institutions more student-centric. But McGuthry is thinking about the digital and real paths all students must walk. And looking through a student’s eyes, he’s automating everything in sight.

He learned that CPP was strongly employee-centric, but he could improve student service. He then assembled a plan to increase the focus of CPP’s technology on students.

McGuthry is working toward complete “flowthrough.” By empowering students to directly access the information they need and resolve issues without engaging the administrative staff, they receive the best possible service. This self-service model is forcing CPP to rethink how it engages with students, driving powerful changes across the campus’ IT systems.

Emulating business best practices

Companies like Domino’s and Amazon provide a high level of customer service. This is something McGuthry feels schools can emulate.

How can we increase transparency to look more like Domino’s when they tell us our pizza is in the oven? How can we streamline operations to look more like Amazon and their issue resolution services? How can we share related items students might also need?

McGuthry goes into much more detail in our virtual session that will soon be available to watch on the EDUCAUSE website.

Until then, thanks for a great show and I look forward to continuing our conversations from the conference!


Laurel Stiller

Laurel Stiller brings her passion for helping institutions strategically maximize their efficiency to Hyland as its marketing portfolio manager for Higher Education. A graduate of Miami University, Ohio, with more... read more about: Laurel Stiller

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