Ron Grames, systems administrator for the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning, has retired after more than 24 years of service to the university.
Grames was hired in October 1991 as technical coordinator for the Instructional and Performance Technology program in the College of Technology. The department was still in the process of creating an online classroom at that time. Grames’ job was to repurpose newly created mail reader programs to host course discussions and assignment submissions that could easily be downloaded, installed and configured by newly admitted students.
Over the years, he was instrumental in providing the department with essential technical support and development during a time when online education was just an emerging idea. The better he did his job, the more invisible his presence became. He has since assisted with numerous platform changes and ensured that the courses were accessible by a variety of quickly changing technologies — from1200 baud modems to 4G WIFI, and from desktop computers to smartphones.
From fall 1991 until fall 2015, Grames assisted more than 1,000 students, faculty and adjuncts with downloading, installing and configuring the software that allowed them to participate in online courses. Because students live in a broad array of time zones around the world, he accommodated their schedules by often working into the late hours of the evening or the early hours in the morning. Every student who took an online class from 1991 to 2015 spoke with Grames and received his personal assistance in being technically prepared to access and to participate in the online classroom.
The entire department and countless students and graduates have appreciated Ron’s patience and ongoing contribution to the department’s mission and goals.