The UNK Staff Senate Employee Recognition Committee announces Duane Hess as the UNK Employee of the Month for July 2002.
Duane Hess is the Network Manager for the Information Technology Services Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Duane is responsible for the data network across the entire campus, including residence halls. Since few people see the network, most of us don't realize the scope of Duane's duties. We know that periodically an email message from him warns of network down time, usually after hours and often in the middle of the night. There is network equipment located in every building on campus and, just like desktop computers, it runs software that makes the network work. That software and the hardware that runs it require continual maintenance and upgrades and because we depend on the network for our day-to-day work and expect the network to be available, some of Duane's work must be done in the middle of the night or on weekends. If Duane is not on campus, he is still on call, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Duane is responsible for 'regulating' bandwidth, a somewhat controversial necessity to control the cost of access to the Internet for the campus and prevent network downtime that would have resulted when network traffic volume exceeded available bandwidth. Many hours of testing and evaluating hardware and software were required to complete this. Our budget for Internet access has been about $10,000 per year. Without Duane's regulation, cost could have exceeded $10,000 per month.
Duane has played an instrumental role in several large projects. He designed the network that was installed in the residence halls during the summer of 1999 and wrote the technical specifications for the RFP for the project. For the West Center renovation project, he planned the network, wrote the RFP, and coordinated the work of the wiring contractor for data and phone wiring. For the College of Education building, he planned the network for the building, plus be negotiated the purchase of network equipment. His astute negotiation skills saved $50,000 on this project. He is currently involved with the Student Union Addition/Renovation project and is planning a campus fiber upgrade that is tied to the addition of the College of Education building and the expansion of distance education capabilities.
Because of his dedication to students, to colleagues, and to the wider UNK community, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is pleased to name Duane Hess as the Employee of the Month for July 2002.