October 4, 2017- Northern Kentucky University’s Chief Information Officer Timothy Ferguson received the Corporate Technology and Innovation Award from LEAD Magazine. Ferguson was honored at LEAD’s Corporate Technology and Innovation Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, September 27, 2016.
LEAD Magazine presented the awards at the luncheon as part of The comSpark Innovation and Tech Summit. The award honors the region’s leading businesses that have demonstrated professional achievements and a commitment to cultivating a thriving and progressive business.
LEAD Magazine featured Ferguson in its Fall issue and asked him to describe the top challenges facing IT organizations.
“Security. Higher education is a popular place for people to go looking for data, because we are fairly open. We spend a lot of time protecting the backend systems where our student data is. We have been very fortunate to-date, but it is an ongoing concern that must be addressed. While students demand easy access, we can’t lose sight of the security that requires, so ultimately we have multiple networks. On the student network they can get to anything, including the internet, but to get to protected systems they have to be further authenticated,” Ferguson said to LEAD Magazine.
When asked about the opportunities his IT Department has, Ferguson responded, “NKU stays in the ever escalating game of digital learners and available technology by engaging students. IT is the biggest employer on campus, so we get direct feedback about what students are looking for. Our College of Informatics has had increased enrollment every year for the last seventeen years. We hire students to help develop many of our mobile apps, because they know what they want. We are also very much involved in the start-up community with places like Cintrifuse and UpTech and there are student start-ups on campus as well. We have the Center for Applied Informatics and the College of Business has the INKUBATOR and both are facilitating more, very creative and challenging student populations using our network and infrastructure.”
Ferguson has been NKU’s chief information officer for the past 10 years. An NKU alumnus, he received his degree in Computer Science and Mathematics.