This last weekend we lost a friend and collegue in the Washburn community. Rob Burton worked in Information Technology Services (ITS) as an Application Analyst supporting the Finance office and reporting services.
Rob’s passing was very sudden and I’m sure many of us are still expecting to see him come around the corner to discuss a specific project or new technology. On a personal note, I wish I had taken the opportunity to get to know Rob better and to thank him for his service to the University.
Below are a few statements from Bob Stoller and a little information about Rob’s background… and a few pictures to remember him.
Rob in his earlier days with ITS.
Rob had superb skills as a programmer/analyst and excelled in database queries and reporting. He exemplified an IT employee. He loved to write code and solve problems. He would often come into the office excited about some new and clever way he found to resolve a difficult programming requirement. Rob was always interested in keeping his skills current and would take specialized continuing education courses in various rogramming languages and techniques. In addition, he was a good listener, a critical soft skill for a programmer/analyst.
Rob graduated from Washburn with a degree in Computer Information Systems in 1996 and immediately joined our ranks as a programmer in what was then the Administrative Data Processing department. At this time all of Washburn’s administrative software was developed in-house by university programmers.
Rob is saying goodbye to an old friend, the IBM AS400 system, as we prepared to shut it down with the deployment of Banner.
Rob left Washburn University a couple of times to work with Blakely Crop Hail Inc., Topeka Public Schools and Emporia State University. Fortunately, Rob would return to Washburn and play a significant role in the development and deployment of key IT systems. He was the only remaining IT person on staff who still knew all the data and code from the legacy administrative software when Washburn chose to implement Banner to support administrative systems. His understanding of our business data and legacy software helped overcome the complexity of migrating and translating coded data from a home-grown solution into a new commercial system.
Below, Rob with the Administrative Systems team at the time of Banner implementation.
Rob was a kind hearted and caring individual; and we were very blessed to have him as a member of the ITS team and the Washburn community. He will be missed.