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Chief information officer maintains smooth technological operations

Story and Photo By Andrea Valdez

Broadcast News Director

Over the summer, while most students were quarantining at home trying to make light of a difficult time, some students dedicated their time to tackling online summer classes. Often with online classes, there tends to be some bumps in the road with technology. That is when students turn to the Information Technology Department for help. Jeff Hassett, chief information officer for the IT Department, is one of the unsung heroes working behind he scenes to keep things running.
Hassett has his Bachelor of Science in business management and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Utah. “Since there was not a lot of degrees in information systems 30+ years ago, we had to kind of create our own,” Hassett said. “While getting my undergraduate degree in business, I took computer science courses for more technology.”
Hassett has been working in the IT Department for 15 months as the CIO and his duties include overseeing the strategic and operational aspects of technology at TJC. Prior to working for TJC, Hassett worked for a private college in Idaho called BYU-Idaho where he was the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer.
TJC’s IT department came back to work during the pandemic to provide services and offer assistance with technological issues to those who needed it.
Since TJC students, faculty and staff have relied heavily on technology for their schoolwork or day-to-day business, the IT department has been hard at work to ensure everything is taken care of.
“For our department, the pandemic really adjusted our priorities,” Hassett said. “We have stayed working on campus since spring break because much of our work requires us to be very hands on with the technology.”
This pandemic has affected the wellbeing of everyone from an emotional and mental standpoint, and the IT department is no exception.
“It definitely has been an emotional strain. The strain can impact your positive mental state for sure,” Hassett said. “IT jobs can be very stressful and with all the restrictions that have been put in place, our normal avenues to unwind have not been readily available.”
Looking back to where the IT department was before the pandemic, comparing it to now, Hassett said not much has changed in the role; however, it created a need to be flexible with their projects.
“When getting ready for fall and trying to figure out the needs for in-person classes, we ended up having to turn a lot of non-teaching spaces into classrooms,” Hassett said.
When Hassett is not working in the IT department he enjoys sports, especially golf. “It gives me a chance to unwind for a few hours and enjoy being outdoors,” Hassett said. “My wife and I also love to take long drives out in the country.”
Kaytee Hassell, director of IT security, said Hassett, “continually goes above and beyond, ensuring OTS is providing the best technology to enable our faculty and staff to educate and serve the needs of our students.”
Hassett believes every job at TJC is important to the success of the students at TJC.
“Without each department doing their part, TJC cannot be successful,” Hassett said. “I am always glad to be part of a larger team and to help others succeed in their roles.”

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