• You've found
     Dan Herrick

    Just in the nick of time.

    Dan R. Herrick is a technologist by trade, a raconteur by disposition, and a practical strategist. He lives in the foothills of Colorado, with a roughly equal number of children and cats, and a wife who tolerates and supports his storytelling habit. Dan works at a public university, wrangling computing technology and its caretakers into some semblance of order. He writes both fiction and nonfiction because he cannot decide which is more interesting. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person entirely too much. 
  • Where's Dan?

    Like "Where's Waldo", but totally different.

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  • I'm a productive individual

    By the standards of your people.

    What I'm Doing

    I currently serve as the IT Asset Manager at the University of Colorado Boulder, introducing and implementing IT asset management (ITAM) practices and processes, designing and managing computer lifecycle programs, and overseeing software licensing activities. In this role, I provide a combination of program and project management, cross-functional process management, fiscal management and analysis, and employee empowerment through technology.


    Highlights of my role include:

    • Providing leadership and oversight to core ITAM services, including the Software Asset Management (SAM) program and Software Licensing services, the Hardware Asset Management (HAM) program, and faculty and departmental computer lifecycle programs.
    • Managing campus IT lifecycle activities, including infrastructure lifecycle planning and policy development, multiple strategic initiatives and special projects around IT hardware and software, serving as campus point-of-contact and relationship management for key IT vendors, coordinating campus-level activities of setting computer standards and recommendations, and facilitating campus working groups (cross-functional collaboration teams) associated with ITAM and hardware/software lifecycle.
    • Engaging deeply with the business and its data by: Providing expert time to campus units for computer lifecycle planning activities; coordinating analytics/analysis reporting including IT contract analysis; coordinating with central procurement and other CU campuses, representing CU-Boulder's interests in vendor and product selection and management; and promoting and communicating best practices and the campus policy process for computer lifecycle activities, including purchasing and disposal.

    What I've Done

    Prior to my current role, I held three positions over 15 years at Colorado State University, including Client Services Manager, Computer Lab Manager, and Computing Support Analyst. I've expanded the scope of each position, while increasing my own responsibilities in each progression. The College had a ~$24M operating budget, ~$65M in research expenditures, 545 faculty and staff, and over 3,000 students. Most recently, I led and managed all user-level services for faculty, staff and students in the College, including overseeing desktop computer support across two campuses for 2,000+ computers, four help desks, one residence hall, and 17 computer labs and classrooms; managing three full-time staff and 30 student employees; and managing budgets totaling $900k.
    My key accomplishments as Client Services Manager include:
    • Saving over 30% of hourly personnel budget annually by maximizing funding streams, including awards.
    • Creating a sustainable faculty computer replacement model by leveraging university- and college-level funding subsidies and developing existing technologies.
    • Optimizing use of computing facilities and equipment by leasing facilities and condensing equipment to high-density areas during low-density use times; and rapidly deploying temporary computing facilities to serve needs such as annual orientation classes.
    • Saving costs and increasing client satisfaction by creating a rigorous testing matrix for existing thin client architecture, including objective and subjective tests, to address performance and cost concerns.
    • Developing a range of feedback mechanisms, including quick polls, comprehensive service needs and satisfaction surveys for targeted populations, and individual client interviews to address gaps in general and situational client feedback.
    • Making daily activities more efficient, contributing to overall departmental productivity, through business process analysis. Examples include automated software management, endpoint device polling and problem reporting, and collaborative document prototyping.
    Some of the things I'm proud of doing in my other capacities include:
    • Expanding the scope of computer lab operations to formally include computer classrooms, the institution’s first virtual computer lab, and distance learning technologies.
    • Implementing technical program space for the Academic Village, the university’s first living/learning community, including smart classrooms and design studios linked with virtual desktops and thin clients in resident housing.
    • Providing the vision and implementation to transform independent support workflows into the college’s first unified service desk, which increased efficiency and customer satisfaction even in a season of deep budget cuts and staffing reductions.
    During much of the same time, I provided freelance IT services to individuals and small businesses in Northern Colorado, including desktop and server computer support, networking, audio/visual installations, and purchasing and budgeting recommendations. The decision to begin providing these freelance services was driven by two former employers who insisted on having me around in some capacity. 
    My previous work has involved IT support and administration in non-profit and for-profit businesses.

    Academic IT Activities

    I am a member of and actively involved with EDUCAUSE and ACM SIGUCCS (Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services), having served as Vice Chair on the ACM SIGUCCS Executive Committee, and have presented at national conferences and local groups. I have also contributed to advisory committees for local colleges and K-12 schools/districts. You can view several of my papers and presentations.
  • Other worthwhile pursuits

    They're only distractions if I'm supposed to be doing something else.


    Information technology is my trade, and also my passion. I love considering what emerging technologies may do for us, seeing how computing technology is applied in creative and strategic ways, and looking for the practical value in commoditized tech. 
    I enjoy the intellectual challenge of using creative means to overcome limitations of hardware and software systems to achieve novel outcomes, and extend this philosophy to business practices around technology.


    Whether it's through writing, the spoken word, other media, or actions, telling stories is what makes us human. I delight in discovering, participating in, and constructing stories. 
    Story is greater than simple entertainment, and it is greater than the mechanics of plot and characters. Stories have lives of their own; stories lead to meaning and an expanded understanding.
    What's your story?


    I believe that reading, and reading copiously, is inherently good for us, to develop critical thinking skills and broaden our experience.
    My reading interests meander across genres, with a heavy emphasis on speculative fiction (in particular, fables, fantasy, and science fiction.) I enjoy narrative nonfiction, and doggedly pursue personal development and productivity reads. 


    I'm a writer. I'm not that ambitious about publishing, or even completing, my written creative works. I'm getting better about that last part.
    Technical writing is part of my job, and I find great satisfaction in it. 
    I relish fiction writing, and I have several novels-in-progress, thanks to NaNoWriMo.
    I craft other pearls (and dung nuggets) of nonfiction writing, for personal enjoyment, as well. 

    See below for some samples on occasion. 


    Binding together many of these themes is the idea of purposefully, mindfully exchanging meaning and information. We practice communication all of our lives, and while sometimes we're phenomenal at it, sometimes we are downright terrible communicators. 
    I'm fascinated with the many aspects of communication, and a proponent of effective communication, from personal to organizational. 
  • Have you seen me?

    Some highlights of my creative work.

    My public talk about classic wet shaving.

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    A Glimpse of Neil Himself

    My latest published work.
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    The View From The Tree

    Just a little different. Sometimes, lopsided.
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    This flashback makes me giggle just thinking about it.