Archive for Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Technology coordinator resigns after audit

June 13, 2007

The Tonganoxie School district's technology coordinator has resigned -- one day after an information technology director for an area engineering firm shared her findings Monday regarding a technology audit she conducted for the school district.

Carl Robison said he resigned his post Tuesday morning after a meeting with Superintendent Richard Erickson.

It was Robison's understanding that he would have a chance to respond to the audit.

But that chance never came at Monday's meeting.

"The meeting last night upset me greatly, the fact I wasn't given the chance to give my report," Robison said.

Robison, who had been the district's technology coordinator since 2001, said he was never opposed to a consultant examining the department, noting, "It's a good way to double-check where we're at."

Starla Jones' audit revealed concerns in Internet usage, lack of organization in the room that is the hub for computer operations and lack of wireless network security and updates in equipment.

"If my boss would have walked in and seen this, I Iiterally would have been fired," Jones said.

On Tuesday, Robison said space has been an ongoing issue regarding the network headquarters. And, he said that since the audit was performed, steps have been taken to improve the room's organization.

Jones, who is a Tonganoxie High School graduate and has two children in the district, said she wants Tonganoxie to be at the same level as other area districts, technology wise.

"I want the Tonganoxie school district to get there," she said. "I have two young boys who I want to see achieve great things, Duke, KU, K-State, I want them to go some place and further their career."

At Monday's meeting, after Jones completed her audit presentation, THS assistant principal Brent Smith spoke about the need for personnel assistance in the IT department. Smith said for the last three years the board has discussed making Robison tend primarily to computers. But, he has been assigned to other issues, such as the phone system.

"And then he gets hollered at by the board for that," Smith said.

"I don't know about that," member Ron Moore said.

The district currently uses Macintosh computers in its classrooms, but Jones said the district should gradually replace the Macs with PCs because they are more commonly used in the career world.

In Robison's report that responded to the audit, which was included in members' packets, Robison addressed the so-called lack of Macintosh computers in the mainstream work force, citing examples of THS graduates who use them as part of their careers. He also included a photo, taken by Time magazine, of former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry using an Apple PowerBook.

Despite his resignation, Robison said he appreciated his tenure.

"I've enjoyed my time with the district," Robison said. "I really regret that it's come to this decision."

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