A Message From Dr. Bell  

April 11, 2012

It is readily understood and documented that my mind moves in strange and wonderful ways. Notification from Carol Smith, the ESU 10 Marketing Associate, that it was time for another Connector article, startled me. For some reason my thoughts went immediately to a conversation that Valerie Gwin, the ESU 10 Administrative Assistant, and I recently had concerning the Lamentations of Jeremiah found in The Holy Bible. The thought process here isn't biblical in nature but rather me lamenting the thought that my wife and I recently turned down a trip with our favorite Illinois world travelers to the far off isle of Fiji. If we would have accepted the invitation someone else would have needed to write the introductory article this month. Oh well, I love my job and if we would have gone we would have missed the tropical temperatures in Kearney.

Well, I'm not really buying this rationalization either so here's what's on my mind this month - disaster recovery planning. It's something that no one really wants to consider, but things happen. There has already been an unprecedented tornado on the ground in Nebraska in February and the severe storm season is just starting. Computer viruses are an ever constant danger. We learned recently that fires do happen in school buildings. I listened intently to what Kirk Langer, Director of Technology Lincoln Public Schools, and Dr. Stephen C. Joel, Superintendent Lincoln Public Schools, had to eloquently say about the trials and tribulations of their experiences dealing with the man-made disaster that incinerated the administrative building in Lincoln. There are a myriad of other sinister situations just lurking out there that could cause mayhem.

It really does make one pause and think about what each of us learning institutions need to do to pro-actively protect information and inventory. The staff at ESU 10 will be taking a look at our situation and I would expect many of you will do the same. We will continue the process of making plans for ESU 10. Our attention has also turned to the school districts that we serve "to partner with our customers to meet this changing need through professional expertise, training, and support". How might we best serve you on this topic? I'm sure many discussions will be shared in the coming months.

With that it's time to concentrate on staff, salary, programs, and budget for the 2012-2013 school year so that ESU 10 can continue to best meet your needs. We are also finalizing the survey to extract your opinions about the current program of services. I just hope I do a better job at these tasks than I did at picking brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament this year. My wife is so far ahead of me in tournament prognostication skills that it isn't even funny. I am truly humbled.

How in the world could I have planned better to avoid this disaster? See - mayhem abounds!