NYU TorchTech – Forging a Global IT Community #CampusTech

Evan Silberman, IT Director, New York University, Silver School of Social Work presenting TorchTech at Campus Technology 2014

Evan Silberman, IT Director, New York University, Silver School of Social Work presenting TorchTech at Campus Technology 2014

Presenter: Evan Silberman, IT Director, New York University, Silver School of Social Work

Project: TorchTech

  • A community-led group for fostering collaboration, building relationships, sharing information, and impacting strategy for IT across a large, distributed university.

“It’s all about people and all about connectivity.”

  • It takes a village… it takes a community to nurture and grow a community.
  • Principles and philosophy = collaboration, knowledge sharing, and relationship building.
  • Goal is to cultivates a coordinated approach to IT across NYU’s three campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai,
  • A place for common dialog and coordination.
  • Annual events: UnMeeting (no agenda, meet people, and you create the sessions), Cloud Computing Panel Session, Share Fair (poster sessions was the most attended event), Networking Breakfasts,
  • Creating conversation across the campus and get people out of their offices to meet each other.
  • Most of the members (41%) are from many schools and universities.
  • 61% are individual contributors.
  • 585 attended at least 1 event.
  • Employee retention is a potential benefit – invested in NYU and invested in each other via opportunities through the network they build.  to cut across the hierarchy and administrative departments and schools.
  • It offers common dialog and coordination.
  • Collect aspirational interests are captured at each event.  What would folks like to see?  Turns out this matches the goals of the university.
  • A steering committee of about 20 people keep things moving and there is leadership support for resources such as time and catering, etc.
  • Governance can be a challenge, but it’s an organic process to encourage openness while harnessing collective voice, building a community of practice, and also leadership is involved.

More Information about the Presenter: Evan Silberman

IT Director, New York University, Silver School of Social Work

Evan Silberman Photo

Mr. Evan Silberman is the Director of Information Technology at the New York University Silver School of Social Work, the founder of TorchTech, a first-of-its-kind volunteer-led organization for IT professionals at NYU with over 900 members across NYU’s global networked university, and Chair of the NYU Chief Information Officers Council. In his capacity as Director of Information Technology, he is currently leading the School through the development of its first online course set, among other multifaceted technology initiatives. Previous to NYU, Evan was Manager of Academic Technology for Yeshiva University where he oversaw Academic Technology for three campuses. For five year, he was also the technical consultant to the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR), where he developed and implemented IT strategy for the UNITAR New York Office, and lead a privately funded, Computer Information Technology Training (CITE) programme for 192 permanent missions to the U.N.

He is a certified Project Management Professional and is a candidate for a M.A. in Educational Technology at the New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He also speaks internationally, and recently presented to the U.N. about online learning.

Evan was also awarded the prestigious NYU Give-A-Violet Award, and nominated for the NYU Team Achievement Award.


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