Yuma, Arizona - When Bob Walker first came to Yuma in a consultant capacity, it wasn’t long before he felt a connection. Hired in mid-2019 to bring stability and planning to the college district’s Technology team, Walker knew quickly he had found his next assignment in a career built on helping colleges organize core business processes.
“I fell in love with the mission of the college, and the people of Yuma and La Paz counties,” Walker said.
“For someone who has worked around the country, and in Canada, it just felt like a really kind place. This area, the Yuma valley, is very welcoming,” said Walker.
As he marks his first year anniversary as an official member of the Matador team, the new Vice President of Technology leads the Infrastructure Services and Support Team, the Enterprise Systems Team, and the Service Desk Team, and after more than a year of focused project planning and investment, along with upgrades in the college’s major systems, he’s finally seeing some traction.
“When I joined, the Strategic Plan was relatively new, and Technology was such an important issue that it was one of the four strategic directions. The team I’m lucky enough to work with has been diligently making progress on a list of more than 50 projects,” Walker added.
After the district pushed to remote learning and work with 2 days’ notice in March, like many educational organizations around the globe, Walker’s team added the responsibility of procuring and distributing the hardware and creating a variety of systems and tools to support faculty, staff and students to that long list.
Walker brings years of work from higher education and other industries to the table, including three back-to-back Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementations at three universities. ERP is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology. This focus on planning has served him well at AWC, and building a culture of project planning and management is a passion of his.
Walker’s early years in technology, as a programmer, then as a network engineer helped him develop a background in infrastructure. He has also done post-grad work in Technology Management, worked as a Chief Information Officer, and earned his MBA. He grew up in an Air Force family, living all over the world, including a few years in Japan, Korea and Wake Island. His dad retired in McCord Air Force Base in Washington, prior to Walker leaving for college. Most recently he and his family spent 10 years in Kansas City, Mo.
When he’s not dreaming of technology solutions, he’s probably checking out his surroundings from above. Walker is an aviation aficionado, a pilot, and has owned a small aviation company for 12 years.
Walker states, “As soon as I leave the ground my cares fall away. Did you know you can buy an airplane for less than a car?”
Just like flying, planning technology for a college district of 11,000 students is all about perspective.