Main Nav

Colleagues,

As you know, last week the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us far too early.  The news of Dewitt's accident had a tremendous impact on many of us at Notre Dame, where he spent many years as Deputy CIO before moving on to assume the CIO role at Montana State.

I first met Dewitt nine years ago when I came to Notre Dame for a campus visit and series of interviews.  I must admit that my first impression was something along the lines of "this guy is a little bit crazy."  Over the subsequent nine years, I learned that, yes, he was a little bit crazy, and also that he was brilliant, kind, and intensely devoted to his family, friends and the communities that he served.  That combination of qualities enabled him to make tremendous contributions to IT and higher ed as a change catalyst, thought leader and innovator.

Dewitt was my friend and mentor and always shared lessons about life, leadership and IT generously.  Over the past week, I've been touched by the many stories shared by his friends and colleagues, on this list and elsewhere.  I've spent much of the last week reflecting on the many things that I learned from him and wanted to take the opportunity to share them with you all.

So, here's my list of the top things that I learned from Dewitt:

1. Be bold.  Take risks.  The most exciting and valuable things happen when you try things that haven't been done before.  Being the first to do something is daunting and fraught with risk but can have a tremendous payoff.  At the same time, when you take risks, you must be prepared to fail.  Learn from those failures and move on to the next thing.

2. Don't let non-critical details get in the way of your vision.  The world is full of a million i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing.  You'll never get to every single one of them.  Trying to do so will only stop you from making progress.  The trick is figuring out which details are critical to realizing your vision and zeroing in on those.

3. Don't put lipstick on a pig.  If something is fundamentally broken, no amount of tweaking is going to make it better.  You need to tear it apart and start over again.

4. Assemble a team of great people and expect great things of them.  If you hire "A" players, they will figure out the right things to do and live up to your expectations, especially if you set the bar high enough that it seems slightly out of reach.  Assemble a team of people with strengths and talents that differ from their own and know when to let them take the lead.

5. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Force yourself to step into the middle of uncomfortable situations, such as speaking opportunities, job searches and unusual experiences.  You will grow as a result.  Do the same thing for people around you.

6. Be kind.  Everybody has a story.  Take the time to listen to it and use it as the lens through which you interpret their words and actions.  Be compassionate and empathetic.

7. Build networks.  Share openly of your time, knowledge and talent with people from many different organizations and walks of life.  Do this even if there is no foreseeable return.  Good things will come as a result.

8. Mentor future leaders.  Spend time with staff who show the potential for leadership.  You will be serving your organization by helping to prepare the next generation of leadership and, at the same time, will experience tremendous personal and professional satisfaction.

9. Ask crazy questions and spark controversial conversations.  Every once in a while, you'll be onto something.  At the very least, you'll have a lot of stimulating conversations with interesting people who will expand your horizons.

10. Have fun.  Work shouldn't be boring or dull.  It should be full of exciting opportunities to learn, grow and explore.  Make an effort to engage your team in a way that makes work enjoyable.

11. Family comes first.  Your professional career will probably only span about half of your life.  Your family has been by your side since before you got your first job and they will be there long after you retire.  Invest your time in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Dewitt had a powerful influence on many people and we will continue to miss him greatly.

Best regards,
Mike

Michael J. Chapple, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Enterprise Support Services
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Management
University of Notre Dame
230 IT Center | Notre Dame, IN 46556
P: 574-631-5863 | M: 574-274-0151

Comments

Good morning,

 

Although I did not know Dewitt I can see what a loss the community has suffered by the outpouring of affection and respect.    I especially appreciated this post from Mike and will use this list for my own personal growth.

 

Sympathies to Dewitt’s extended CIO family. 

 

Lori

 

Thank you, Mike.  A great note and a splendid list…worth remembering.

Bruce Alexander
Michigan State

----
Message from jj014747@pomona.edu

Mike,

Thanks so much for putting that list together.  I've shared it with my colleagues here at Pomona College as it never hurts to remind people that there are some essential rules of life .  What's life or work if you aren't kind and having fun? :-D


Julianne Journitz
Director, Client Services
Information Technology Services
Pomona College
Claremont, California


From: Mike Chapple <mchapple@ND.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 07:36:03 -0400
To: <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [CIO] Lessons from Dewitt

Colleagues,

As you know, last week the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us far too early.  The news of Dewitt's accident had a tremendous impact on many of us at Notre Dame, where he spent many years as Deputy CIO before moving on to assume the CIO role at Montana State.

I first met Dewitt nine years ago when I came to Notre Dame for a campus visit and series of interviews.  I must admit that my first impression was something along the lines of "this guy is a little bit crazy."  Over the subsequent nine years, I learned that, yes, he was a little bit crazy, and also that he was brilliant, kind, and intensely devoted to his family, friends and the communities that he served.  That combination of qualities enabled him to make tremendous contributions to IT and higher ed as a change catalyst, thought leader and innovator.

Dewitt was my friend and mentor and always shared lessons about life, leadership and IT generously.  Over the past week, I've been touched by the many stories shared by his friends and colleagues, on this list and elsewhere.  I've spent much of the last week reflecting on the many things that I learned from him and wanted to take the opportunity to share them with you all.

So, here's my list of the top things that I learned from Dewitt:

1. Be bold.  Take risks.  The most exciting and valuable things happen when you try things that haven't been done before.  Being the first to do something is daunting and fraught with risk but can have a tremendous payoff.  At the same time, when you take risks, you must be prepared to fail.  Learn from those failures and move on to the next thing.

2. Don't let non-critical details get in the way of your vision.  The world is full of a million i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing.  You'll never get to every single one of them.  Trying to do so will only stop you from making progress.  The trick is figuring out which details are critical to realizing your vision and zeroing in on those.

3. Don't put lipstick on a pig.  If something is fundamentally broken, no amount of tweaking is going to make it better.  You need to tear it apart and start over again.

4. Assemble a team of great people and expect great things of them.  If you hire "A" players, they will figure out the right things to do and live up to your expectations, especially if you set the bar high enough that it seems slightly out of reach.  Assemble a team of people with strengths and talents that differ from their own and know when to let them take the lead.

5. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Force yourself to step into the middle of uncomfortable situations, such as speaking opportunities, job searches and unusual experiences.  You will grow as a result.  Do the same thing for people around you.

6. Be kind.  Everybody has a story.  Take the time to listen to it and use it as the lens through which you interpret their words and actions.  Be compassionate and empathetic.

7. Build networks.  Share openly of your time, knowledge and talent with people from many different organizations and walks of life.  Do this even if there is no foreseeable return.  Good things will come as a result.

8. Mentor future leaders.  Spend time with staff who show the potential for leadership.  You will be serving your organization by helping to prepare the next generation of leadership and, at the same time, will experience tremendous personal and professional satisfaction.

9. Ask crazy questions and spark controversial conversations.  Every once in a while, you'll be onto something.  At the very least, you'll have a lot of stimulating conversations with interesting people who will expand your horizons.

10. Have fun.  Work shouldn't be boring or dull.  It should be full of exciting opportunities to learn, grow and explore.  Make an effort to engage your team in a way that makes work enjoyable.

11. Family comes first.  Your professional career will probably only span about half of your life.  Your family has been by your side since before you got your first job and they will be there long after you retire.  Invest your time in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Dewitt had a powerful influence on many people and we will continue to miss him greatly.

Best regards,
Mike

Michael J. Chapple, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Enterprise Support Services
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Management
University of Notre Dame
230 IT Center | Notre Dame, IN 46556
P: 574-631-5863 | M: 574-274-0151

------------------------------------------------------------- This message has been scanned by Postini anti-virus software. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Colleagues,

As you know, last week the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us far too early.  The news of Dewitt's accident had a tremendous impact on many of us at Notre Dame, where he spent many years as Deputy CIO before moving on to assume the CIO role at Montana State.

I first met Dewitt nine years ago when I came to Notre Dame for a campus visit and series of interviews.  I must admit that my first impression was something along the lines of "this guy is a little bit crazy."  Over the subsequent nine years, I learned that, yes, he was a little bit crazy, and also that he was brilliant, kind, and intensely devoted to his family, friends and the communities that he served.  That combination of qualities enabled him to make tremendous contributions to IT and higher ed as a change catalyst, thought leader and innovator.

Dewitt was my friend and mentor and always shared lessons about life, leadership and IT generously.  Over the past week, I've been touched by the many stories shared by his friends and colleagues, on this list and elsewhere.  I've spent much of the last week reflecting on the many things that I learned from him and wanted to take the opportunity to share them with you all.

So, here's my list of the top things that I learned from Dewitt:

1. Be bold.  Take risks.  The most exciting and valuable things happen when you try things that haven't been done before.  Being the first to do something is daunting and fraught with risk but can have a tremendous payoff.  At the same time, when you take risks, you must be prepared to fail.  Learn from those failures and move on to the next thing.

2. Don't let non-critical details get in the way of your vision.  The world is full of a million i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing.  You'll never get to every single one of them.  Trying to do so will only stop you from making progress.  The trick is figuring out which details are critical to realizing your vision and zeroing in on those.

3. Don't put lipstick on a pig.  If something is fundamentally broken, no amount of tweaking is going to make it better.  You need to tear it apart and start over again.

4. Assemble a team of great people and expect great things of them.  If you hire "A" players, they will figure out the right things to do and live up to your expectations, especially if you set the bar high enough that it seems slightly out of reach.  Assemble a team of people with strengths and talents that differ from their own and know when to let them take the lead.

5. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Force yourself to step into the middle of uncomfortable situations, such as speaking opportunities, job searches and unusual experiences.  You will grow as a result.  Do the same thing for people around you.

6. Be kind.  Everybody has a story.  Take the time to listen to it and use it as the lens through which you interpret their words and actions.  Be compassionate and empathetic.

7. Build networks.  Share openly of your time, knowledge and talent with people from many different organizations and walks of life.  Do this even if there is no foreseeable return.  Good things will come as a result.

8. Mentor future leaders.  Spend time with staff who show the potential for leadership.  You will be serving your organization by helping to prepare the next generation of leadership and, at the same time, will experience tremendous personal and professional satisfaction.

9. Ask crazy questions and spark controversial conversations.  Every once in a while, you'll be onto something.  At the very least, you'll have a lot of stimulating conversations with interesting people who will expand your horizons.

10. Have fun.  Work shouldn't be boring or dull.  It should be full of exciting opportunities to learn, grow and explore.  Make an effort to engage your team in a way that makes work enjoyable.

11. Family comes first.  Your professional career will probably only span about half of your life.  Your family has been by your side since before you got your first job and they will be there long after you retire.  Invest your time in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Dewitt had a powerful influence on many people and we will continue to miss him greatly.

Best regards,
Mike

Michael J. Chapple, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Enterprise Support Services
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Management
University of Notre Dame
230 IT Center | Notre Dame, IN 46556
P: 574-631-5863 | M: 574-274-0151

Good morning,

 

Although I did not know Dewitt I can see what a loss the community has suffered by the outpouring of affection and respect.    I especially appreciated this post from Mike and will use this list for my own personal growth.

 

Sympathies to Dewitt’s extended CIO family. 

 

Lori

 

Thank you, Mike.  A great note and a splendid list…worth remembering.

Bruce Alexander
Michigan State

----
Message from jj014747@pomona.edu

Mike,

Thanks so much for putting that list together.  I've shared it with my colleagues here at Pomona College as it never hurts to remind people that there are some essential rules of life .  What's life or work if you aren't kind and having fun? :-D


Julianne Journitz
Director, Client Services
Information Technology Services
Pomona College
Claremont, California


From: Mike Chapple <mchapple@ND.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 07:36:03 -0400
To: <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: [CIO] Lessons from Dewitt

Colleagues,

As you know, last week the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us far too early.  The news of Dewitt's accident had a tremendous impact on many of us at Notre Dame, where he spent many years as Deputy CIO before moving on to assume the CIO role at Montana State.

I first met Dewitt nine years ago when I came to Notre Dame for a campus visit and series of interviews.  I must admit that my first impression was something along the lines of "this guy is a little bit crazy."  Over the subsequent nine years, I learned that, yes, he was a little bit crazy, and also that he was brilliant, kind, and intensely devoted to his family, friends and the communities that he served.  That combination of qualities enabled him to make tremendous contributions to IT and higher ed as a change catalyst, thought leader and innovator.

Dewitt was my friend and mentor and always shared lessons about life, leadership and IT generously.  Over the past week, I've been touched by the many stories shared by his friends and colleagues, on this list and elsewhere.  I've spent much of the last week reflecting on the many things that I learned from him and wanted to take the opportunity to share them with you all.

So, here's my list of the top things that I learned from Dewitt:

1. Be bold.  Take risks.  The most exciting and valuable things happen when you try things that haven't been done before.  Being the first to do something is daunting and fraught with risk but can have a tremendous payoff.  At the same time, when you take risks, you must be prepared to fail.  Learn from those failures and move on to the next thing.

2. Don't let non-critical details get in the way of your vision.  The world is full of a million i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing.  You'll never get to every single one of them.  Trying to do so will only stop you from making progress.  The trick is figuring out which details are critical to realizing your vision and zeroing in on those.

3. Don't put lipstick on a pig.  If something is fundamentally broken, no amount of tweaking is going to make it better.  You need to tear it apart and start over again.

4. Assemble a team of great people and expect great things of them.  If you hire "A" players, they will figure out the right things to do and live up to your expectations, especially if you set the bar high enough that it seems slightly out of reach.  Assemble a team of people with strengths and talents that differ from their own and know when to let them take the lead.

5. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Force yourself to step into the middle of uncomfortable situations, such as speaking opportunities, job searches and unusual experiences.  You will grow as a result.  Do the same thing for people around you.

6. Be kind.  Everybody has a story.  Take the time to listen to it and use it as the lens through which you interpret their words and actions.  Be compassionate and empathetic.

7. Build networks.  Share openly of your time, knowledge and talent with people from many different organizations and walks of life.  Do this even if there is no foreseeable return.  Good things will come as a result.

8. Mentor future leaders.  Spend time with staff who show the potential for leadership.  You will be serving your organization by helping to prepare the next generation of leadership and, at the same time, will experience tremendous personal and professional satisfaction.

9. Ask crazy questions and spark controversial conversations.  Every once in a while, you'll be onto something.  At the very least, you'll have a lot of stimulating conversations with interesting people who will expand your horizons.

10. Have fun.  Work shouldn't be boring or dull.  It should be full of exciting opportunities to learn, grow and explore.  Make an effort to engage your team in a way that makes work enjoyable.

11. Family comes first.  Your professional career will probably only span about half of your life.  Your family has been by your side since before you got your first job and they will be there long after you retire.  Invest your time in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Dewitt had a powerful influence on many people and we will continue to miss him greatly.

Best regards,
Mike

Michael J. Chapple, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Enterprise Support Services
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Management
University of Notre Dame
230 IT Center | Notre Dame, IN 46556
P: 574-631-5863 | M: 574-274-0151

------------------------------------------------------------- This message has been scanned by Postini anti-virus software. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Mike,

 

Thanks man!  This is a great and such a wonderful way to honor Dewitt.

 

 

- Mac -

 

Keith W. McIntosh, MBA
Vice Chancellor for Information Technology

and Chief Information Officer (CIO)

-------------------------------------------------------
Information Technology
Pima County Community College District
kwmcintosh@pima.edu

 

What a wonderful tribute to Dewitt.  Thanks so much for sharing this, Mike.

Anne

 

Greetings Network Managers - 

Our greater education IT community has been reeling from the loss of Dewitt Latimer, CIO at Montana State.  I want to share with you a great note posted to the CIO list from Mike Chapple at Notre Dame. 

Thanks, Mike, for writing, and Dewitt, for effecting so many people in such a positive way.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Chapple <mchapple@nd.edu>
Date: Wed, May 15, 2013 at 7:36 AM
Subject: [CIO] Lessons from Dewitt
To: CIO@listserv.educause.edu


Colleagues,

As you know, last week the higher education IT community suffered a great loss when Dewitt Latimer was tragically taken from us far too early.  The news of Dewitt's accident had a tremendous impact on many of us at Notre Dame, where he spent many years as Deputy CIO before moving on to assume the CIO role at Montana State.

I first met Dewitt nine years ago when I came to Notre Dame for a campus visit and series of interviews.  I must admit that my first impression was something along the lines of "this guy is a little bit crazy."  Over the subsequent nine years, I learned that, yes, he was a little bit crazy, and also that he was brilliant, kind, and intensely devoted to his family, friends and the communities that he served.  That combination of qualities enabled him to make tremendous contributions to IT and higher ed as a change catalyst, thought leader and innovator.

Dewitt was my friend and mentor and always shared lessons about life, leadership and IT generously.  Over the past week, I've been touched by the many stories shared by his friends and colleagues, on this list and elsewhere.  I've spent much of the last week reflecting on the many things that I learned from him and wanted to take the opportunity to share them with you all.

So, here's my list of the top things that I learned from Dewitt:

1. Be bold.  Take risks.  The most exciting and valuable things happen when you try things that haven't been done before.  Being the first to do something is daunting and fraught with risk but can have a tremendous payoff.  At the same time, when you take risks, you must be prepared to fail.  Learn from those failures and move on to the next thing.

2. Don't let non-critical details get in the way of your vision.  The world is full of a million i's that need dotting and t's that need crossing.  You'll never get to every single one of them.  Trying to do so will only stop you from making progress.  The trick is figuring out which details are critical to realizing your vision and zeroing in on those.

3. Don't put lipstick on a pig.  If something is fundamentally broken, no amount of tweaking is going to make it better.  You need to tear it apart and start over again.

4. Assemble a team of great people and expect great things of them.  If you hire "A" players, they will figure out the right things to do and live up to your expectations, especially if you set the bar high enough that it seems slightly out of reach.  Assemble a team of people with strengths and talents that differ from their own and know when to let them take the lead.

5. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  Force yourself to step into the middle of uncomfortable situations, such as speaking opportunities, job searches and unusual experiences.  You will grow as a result.  Do the same thing for people around you.

6. Be kind.  Everybody has a story.  Take the time to listen to it and use it as the lens through which you interpret their words and actions.  Be compassionate and empathetic.

7. Build networks.  Share openly of your time, knowledge and talent with people from many different organizations and walks of life.  Do this even if there is no foreseeable return.  Good things will come as a result.

8. Mentor future leaders.  Spend time with staff who show the potential for leadership.  You will be serving your organization by helping to prepare the next generation of leadership and, at the same time, will experience tremendous personal and professional satisfaction.

9. Ask crazy questions and spark controversial conversations.  Every once in a while, you'll be onto something.  At the very least, you'll have a lot of stimulating conversations with interesting people who will expand your horizons.

10. Have fun.  Work shouldn't be boring or dull.  It should be full of exciting opportunities to learn, grow and explore.  Make an effort to engage your team in a way that makes work enjoyable.

11. Family comes first.  Your professional career will probably only span about half of your life.  Your family has been by your side since before you got your first job and they will be there long after you retire.  Invest your time in them.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Dewitt had a powerful influence on many people and we will continue to miss him greatly.

Best regards,
Mike

Michael J. Chapple, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Enterprise Support Services
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Management
University of Notre Dame
230 IT Center | Notre Dame, IN 46556


********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Close
Close


Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
View Proceedings

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.