What the ECN did for me and Mount Allison University

Planning to retire at the end of August 2018 made me reflect on my 39 years at Mt. A. and my encounters with the ECN. I became Director of the Computing Services Department (CSD) in 1989 and, as such the official representative of Mt. A. and a voting member of the ECN.  I must be the oldest and longest serving member by far? What struck me right from the beginning was the sense of “we are all in this together” and the common good was the underpinning principle of our activities. In the beginning I thought that the agenda would be dominated by the larger players in the group but that was not at all the case. It became clear to me that we thrived to serve all members equally well, regardless of size. This principle has served us very well and has created a real sense of trust, respect and friendship. I always felt I could argue my points passionately without fear of ruining my personal relationship with any member. It was and is refreshing to see a group of likeminded, passionate and competent people accomplish so much without once having to appeal to the board of directors to deal with a contentious issue for a decision. Nevertheless, there were occasional situations when tempers flared and the discussion was heated but never can I remember an occasion when we would disband without a consensual decision or hard feelings.

The ECN has been successful for over 45 years and has made outstanding contributions to each member institution, the Provinces of NB and PEI, and Canada as a whole. Mount Allison University has benefited greatly from the arrangement. We could have never done this on our own. I always enjoyed our meetings and have come to appreciate the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise around the table. I have learned a lot and will miss these meetings and all the members on the committee.

Helmut Becker