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IT Activity ReportJanuary 2016
January 2016 Activity Report | Information Technologies

Carl Jacobson, VP for IT, retires after 38 years at UD

On Dec. 31, 2015, Carl Jacobson, vice president for Information Technologies and the University's chief information officer (CIO), retired from the University of Delaware after a 38-year career that included stints as a programmer, associate director of Management Information Services (MIS), and director of MIS. Jacobson was named vice president in March 2009 after being appointed interim vice president in June 2008.

Jacobson has been an outspoken advocate of re-thinking the roles of the Web and e-business, providing new opportunities to support teaching and research, revamping business practices, and improving customer service.

His ability to understand both the big picture and the details of how IT can help a university's business processes was recognized by colleagues on and off campus. In 2001, Jacobson received the prestigious Leadership in Information Technology Award from EDUCAUSE. He was hailed as a pioneer for using the Web to provide access to institutional administrative information and for his work to enable students, faculty, and staff to conduct University business online. In fact, under his leadership, IT developed Web interfaces for some business functions ahead of those later developed by vendors such as PeopleSoft and Bank of America.

He also received an EDUCAUSE Catalyst Award in 2007 and UD Innovation Awards in 2001 and 2002.

Jacobson has played a key role in improving the information security posture of the University. He has spearheaded UD IT's collaboration with deans, executive leadership, administrative staff, departmental and college IT staff, and faculty to improve the hardware and software controls in place and increase the information security training available for all employees. Under his leadership, in 2015, UD became one of the first two universities to partner with the US Department of Homeland Security on evaluating the security of its IT resources.

In addition to his work at UD, Jacobson is a consultant, a writer, and a frequent speaker at national and regional computing conferences.

While still in high school, Jacobson began working for UD as a dishwasher in the Rodney Dining Hall. He later earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the University of Delaware in 1973. He and his wife, Lynn, are "Double Dels," having met while both were UD undergraduates.

While working in MIS, Jacobson started teaching a karate class at Carpenter Sports Building. It meant an extra way to take the pulse of students. The student newspaper, The Review, ran an article about "the lithe Jacobson" and his combined karate and computing expertise.

Everyone in IT invites readers of the Activity Report to join in wishing the still lithe Jacobson well on his retirement.

Jason Cash named acting vice president for IT

Jason Cash, deputy CIO for IT Network and Systems Services (IT-NSS), has been serving as interim vice president for IT since Jan. 1, 2016.

Cash earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from UD in 1994. Since 1997, he has worked in UD IT in a variety of capacities, including systems programmer, systems manager, associate director of Network and Systems Services, and director of IT Infrastructure.

Before joining UD, he worked for a software development company and did network and graphical user interface programming.

Introducing Blue Print 3D Studio

UD IT and Faculty Commons have launched Blue Print 3D Studio, UD's first full-fledged 3D printing center open to the campus community. Any student, faculty, or staff member—regardless of their department, major, or class affiliation—are welcome to submit STL build files or request personal consultations about the design process. The service is free for a limited time.

Blue Print was officially announced on October 28 during the IT Tech Fair. Since then, it has been supporting faculty and students working on curriculum-related projects. Any member of the UD community is welcome to submit personal prints beginning February 8.

The Studio, located in the basement of Smith Hall, features two CubePro Duo printers, three Cube printers, and one Micro printer. It is also equipped with an iSense 3-D scanner, which turns photos into STL files, and a Touch 3-D stylus, which allows designers to create files by "feeling" the screen. Blue Print's workforce largely consists of student employees trained in STL file management and 3D printing technology.

Jon Cox, assistant professor in the Department of Art, and Dustyn Roberts, assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, spearheaded the initiative after being awarded a 2015 Transformation Grant. They used the grant to achieve their vision of providing accessible 3D printing opportunities on campus.