CQU IT boss retires after 30 years

CQU IT boss retires after 30 years in the job

Central Queensland University's IT Director Ian Jenkins has retired after almost 30 years in the top IT job at the institution.

Jenkins retired on 20 June this year and was currently tackling Papua New Guinea's Kokoda trail, the veteran's long-serving deputy John Voss told ZDNet Australia via telephone today.

Voss is acting in Jenkins' role while the position is advertised.

According to Voss, when Jenkins joined CQU around 1977 the university only had one computer, an ICL1900 series. Although Voss joined a number of years later and isn't clear on the details, he believed users had to access that machine through the use of punchcards in the same room as the hardware -- no remote access.

Today, CQU has close to 3,000 PCs across its network, in addition to two data centres in its Rockhampton campus hosting around 190 production servers.

The university currently serves around 30,000 students with around 2,500 staff, whereas when Jenkins joined there were only 2000 students.

Jenkins has certainly been instrumental in that growth, with the university placing a heavy emphasis on distance education.

For example, in July CQU's manager of corporate systems administration, Adrian Yarrow, told ZDNet Australia the university currently had around 7,000 Australians studying remotely, with many more in locations as diverse as Singapore and Fiji.

Voss himself has seen a substantial amount of change. "We introduced Ethernet here back in the mid '80s," he said. "Whereas now with every PC you get an Ethernet port on the motherboard."

"It's been a phenomenal change in those 30 years, it's absolutely amazing. To think we've got multiple terabytes of disk space sitting downstairs, and they used to have the old disk packs with 128Mb or something on them."

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