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TJSL’s James Cooper Wins Top Tech Award

May 12, 2011

James Cooper Award
James Cooper Award
James Cooper Award
James Cooper Award

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Chief Information Officer James Cooper has been honored by San Diego Magazine’s Top Tech Awards.  The awards recognize the most outstanding Information Technology executives who work in San Diego, as nominated by their peers and clients.

Cooper was given one of two special awards at a ceremony held May 11 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club – the Cox Business Exemplary Award.  He was singled out from nearly 127 technical executives nominated for the award by their peers for this honor.

“I’m honored to have won this award,” said James Cooper as he accepted the plaque. “I feel even luckier to work with such a dedicated group of professionals.”

“The Cox Business Exemplary Award is so named as it connotes that the honoree’s accomplishments are so good or admirable that others would do well to copy them,” said Becca Linekin, Marketing Manager at Cox Business, a co-sponsor of the Top Tech Awards. “Previous honorees have been creative, out-of-the-box innovators, and more recently, IT leaders who integrate green initiatives into their work.”

There’s no doubt that Cooper has been an out of the box innovator – the law school is lean and green technologically.

It’s lean because TJSL’s server infrastructure has been virtualized and 35 physical servers have been replaced with just four servers and it’s green because the technological carbon footprint has been reduced.

“Eliminating over 100 power hungry PCs and replacing them with four servers and virtual terminals enabled us to cut power consumption and creation of greenhouse gasses,” adds Cooper.  “The power management system provided by APC will allow us to track usage and generate consumption reports over time.”

TJSL is on the cutting-edge among organizations using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) – with all computers wired into a central server instead of separate computer towers.

“Right now we officially have more than 200 virtual desktops running on our network,” says Brian Graham, TJSL Network Administrator.  “To put it into perspective, we have not only just become one of the most technologically advanced law schools in the U.S., but we’re also way ahead of many businesses out there.”

What are the advantages of virtualization?

Virtualization of the desktop  offers much quicker turnaround in computer repairs and allows IT personnel to assist faculty and staff via remote desktop sessions as well as the ability to make “repairs” to the desktop directly from the Help Desk.  Virtualization also reduces the frequency and volume of equipment purchased and recycled by the school.  This improves environmental impact by reducing the volume of toxic metals both purchased and recycled.

Getting the new system in place and running took a Herculean effort on the part of TJSL’s IT team. Having to move the servers from the old building to the new was a major feat in and of itself – and the fact that they did it during the biggest rain storm in decades made it that much more challenging.

Cooper thanked his IT team, the Communications Department and TJSL’s partners in the project  – but most importantly, he thanked Dean Rudy Hasl “who had the vision of a high tech teaching, learning and working space with a focus on environmental responsibility, A man who was willing to take risks on leading edge technologies and who ensured funding for staffing, partners and systems was available when needed.”

As far as Cooper is concerned, it all came together because of the people.

“This project, like this award,” Cooper said, “would not be possible without the right staffing, partners and support.