Editor’s note: Duck of the Week is a section in Around the O Workplace that highlights UO employees and their work. Each story features an interview with one employee, in his or her own words, with light editing for clarity and length only.
How long have you worked at the UO?
I started working at the University of Oregon in 2001, so it’s been 20 years.
Tell us about your work:
I manage large technical systems for the university, which include the telephone system, the voicemail system, among other things. I also manage the two-way radio systems on campus. I do a lot of work with the cellular carriers and their coverage systems as well as the data center facilities. This refers to the rooms themselves and the power and cooling systems.
I work with a team on both the telephone and data center side. There’s two people on the telecom unit, and three people working on data center things. There is also one person that does radios too.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day consists of a lot of meetings and daily check-ins. I meet with people on the telecom and data center networks, in addition to various vendors for all these different systems. In terms of the cellular carriers, I meet with them every other week or so. I think since the pandemic started, it’s been a lot more Zoom and Teams meetings rather than in-person interactions. I’m working from home now but I’ll go on campus every so often to deal with things that need to be addressed in person.
What do you like about working at the UO?
I like working with a variety of people from different departments. There are interesting aspects of the work I do, and I enjoy getting to work with the different people on campus and in the university community who help us maintain these systems. That’s a lot of fun.
What keeps you motivated?
In both of the areas that I work in, we’ve made a lot of interesting changes over the past year. The changes we made on the telecom side allow people to work remotely with less difficulty. In terms of the customer service area on campus, we’ve started to use some new programs that are easier for customer service groups to take phone calls.
I also work with a number of student employees, which has been an interesting experience as well. We’re also replacing the campus telephone system that’s been going on for a few years now, and that’s getting to the point where we’re actually going to be doing some early introduction pilots. That’s going to mean a lot of big changes for my group as well as people around campus, so we’re really excited about that.
What is something people may not know about you?
I used to work for Habitat for Humanity International. When I worked at Duke University for a few years, I built houses with them in North Carolina and then did technical work at their Georgia headquarters for three years.
Eric Fullar is a part of Information Services.
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