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Bill Goodman

AV virtuoso Bill Goodman delivers daily

January 7, 2010

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SFU’s annual staff achievement awards honour staffers’ exceptional personal and work-related accomplishments. Throughout this semester, SFU News will profile each of the 2009 winners, who will be recognized at SFU’s annual faculty and staff awards dinner March 10 at the Diamond Alumni Centre.

It’s not often that anyone stops to consider the work involved in keeping the 31 lecture theatres and 100-plus classrooms at the Burnaby campus equipped with functioning multimedia equipment.

But veteran staffer Bill Goodman worries about it 24/7. As manager of technical services with the Learning and Instructional Development Centre, it’s his job to ensure that faculty have the audio-visual tools they need to instruct their students.

It’s a daunting task. The Images Theatre, for example, still retains its 35-year-old custom-made sound system, for which it is now difficult to get parts. But $100,000 to replace the system is not an option.

"We’re where the rubber hits the road," says Goodman. "We have to ensure equipment is working and accessible when and where it’s needed."

Over the past 42 years, Goodman’s unfailing attention to detail and his willingness to remain on the job until problems are resolved have earned him the 2009 Lifetime Achievement award.

Says one nominator, "He can always be counted on to get the job done, regardless of the short notice or how ridiculous the request...

"He is often found plodding away long after quitting time on some electrical or digital configuration until, regardless of the hour, he is finished and all systems are ‘go’."

The truly enjoyable part of his job, says Goodman, is hiring and then helping to mentor as many as 17 students each semester who form the temporary pool of technicians delivering and repairing equipment.

"I really like to think that our little organization here teaches them reliability, responsibility and trust," he says, referring to the need to perform tasks on schedule so that classes aren’t interrupted.

Goodman turns 65 this summer but he isn’t particularly keen to retire. "SFU is a wonderful place to work and it provided an education for both of my sons."

And in his typical, self-effacing fashion, he says he’s prepared to stay on or to go, whichever the university prefers.

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Steven Henslow

Unfortunately this story does not delve into many of the projects that had a major impact upon both SFU and SFU's recognition world wide.

In the early years LIDC was considered by several world famous lecturers to be the most advance teaching space they had ever lectured in. Two of those people come to mind instantly John Kenneth Galbraith - Canadian economist and advisor to President John F. Kennedy.

Dr Fineman gave two lecture series during my early years and both times he commented to me that our service and classroom technology was far ahead of anywhere else he had lectured - Bill deserves a good portion of that credit because at the drop of a hat if anything did not work or needed upgrading he was there - few appreciate the incredible talent that this department once had at it's disposal and it was Bill that was key to keeping every aspect from satelite equipment to running 1/2 mile or more of speaker cords.

We are stifling the creative side of teaching. Unfortunately, there are too few people left who saw what the Audio Visual services could do. If we did have it Bill built it. If it was possible somehow Bill found funds.

TOO FEW PEOPLE HAVE A GRASP OF HOW THIS UNIVERSITY GOT TO WHERE IT IS TODAY. NOR THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTS THAT HAVE HAD AN IMPACT UPON THE ENTIRE WORLD.

THE CREDO OF SFU - ONCE YOU LEAVE YOU ARE INSTANTLY FORGOTTEN.

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