Have You Met… Simon Collier?

Have you met Simon, Manager for Information Services & Technology - Solutions & Standards? Spend the next few minutes getting to know him…

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Have you met Simon, Manager for Information Services & Technology - Solutions & Standards? Spend the next few minutes getting to know him a little better.

Along the older section of Saskatchewan Drive where Alumni House and the Ring Houses are. It's one of the bits of campus where you can imagine what campus was like in the beginning.

Paper. I've tried tablet, and being in the IT group I know that there's a lot of benefits to using a tablet. But I haven't found something that replaces my ability to recall what was talked about quite like pen and paper.

Multicoloured whiteboard markers. I do a lot on the whiteboard in my role, and the standard blue/green/red/black makes things a bit dull. So I found a really cool selection of whiteboard markers that include browns, greens, pastels, pinks… It's like having a nice coffee in the morning: it's not that it completely changes the day, it's just a nice little thing that adds to it.

Brunch. I never did brunch until I moved here, and now it's just a thing. It's not really a weekend if it doesn't start with brunch.

New Zealand. I haven't been there yet, and I've heard nothing bad about it. It sounds beautiful, and it sounds like there's very little there that would try to kill you. Apart from that I don't know much about it, which is why I'd like to go.

True to my IT roots, I'll go with my nerdiest answer: Doctor Who - whichever one presents his or herself. Being able to speak to someone who has the broader context and knows things like where the divisions in society are going to lead us, or what's really out there, or what Queen Victoria is up to… that would be awesome.

Yours. I guess you probably don't do these interviews all day every day, but it sounds like you learn a lot about people's experiences on campus, you get to see a lot of campus. For a week of just having a curious mind and learning things, I think that would be fun.*

*Author's note: it is!

I like to think that as an organization we're improving the world, which is why I want to work here. That suggests that we're not going to do research that just privileges one thing, we're about learning about society, people, health care, cultures, all sorts of things. That - combined with accessibility making people's experiences here not just possible, but also enjoyable - is what it means to me.

Disinformation is a problem, but it's become a tool that's being used to divide and achieve something. I'm not sure what that something is, but I wish we could "solve" disinformation. It's a complicated issue, and I feel like there's a problem there.

Amorphous - I've never had the same responsibilities for more than a few years.

Enlightening - Being on campus you have access to all sorts of lectures and interesting people and research that's going on. It's so easy to just wander a short distance and learn something new.

Inclusive - It's easy to feel very welcome here.

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Simon works for the Deputy CIO in IST and helps figure out which services should be offered in the future. He's currently trialing the use of bots to help humans perform tasks more quickly, and chatbots using AI to answer questions 24/7. When he's not at work he can be found watching cat videos on the internet, hiking in the backcountry, or stuck in traffic on Terwillegar Drive.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.