Farhan Al Ghareeb, IT Support Manager

Managing the shift with preparedness and relative ease.

Farhan Al Ghareeb - LAU Now.jpgTechnically speaking, we had no issues merging with the process of online learning and remote support. Thanks to the prudence of our AVP Mr. Camille Abou-Nasr, we managed the shift with ease as we had already started with the project of distance learning deployed for online classes between Byblos and Beirut campuses, integrated Cisco Webex with our multimedia systems, and facilitated recording online lectures on blackboard.

The challenge was responding in a timely manner to the vast number of requests in the first few weeks of the lockdown, such as helping our faculty with programs like Cisco Webex and Panopto. We are still encouraging them to work remotely by installing VPN clients when needed. Another solution for all full-time faculty and staff was the OneDrive cloud for sharing files with their team members and students.

Working from home has meant having more time to spend with my family and work on my master’s thesis. Downsides are the slow internet connection due to the traffic congestion and not having full access to our software and resources. Our staff is still rotating over two days per week to maintain the essential support for ongoing services.

As an LAU graduate who started off on financial aid to become IT support manager, I am indebted to our institution that is second to none in higher education, that cares for its staff more than any other institution and that has been there every step of the way during this pandemic.