Lori Murray-Hawkins- 2017 Distinguished Service Award

Lori Murray-Hawkins is an extraordinary professional who has dedicated much of her career to ensuring UNB manages its vast data assets and services appropriately and effectively. Widely admired and respected across the UNB community, Lori has been tireless in her efforts to help people cope with byzantine IT systems that are intended to make things better, yet have the unfortunate tendency to make lives more complicated than ever.

Lori began her work at UNB as a Datatel system administrator (as the university’s main database system was called at the time, and currently known as Colleague), during the lead up to the infamous ‘Year 2000’ turnover. Datatel was relatively new at the time, and Lori soon found herself leading the work to develop, deploy, and support the system across the university. Lori has been intimately involved with all aspects of the system ever since, and is now by far the most knowledgeable expert we have on its many sub-systems, integrations, data layers, and architecture. 

Lori has worked tirelessly with pretty much all the business and academic units at UNB over her tenure—she has a deep understanding of the UNB data environment, how it can be best utilized, and how it has come to be faced with its myriad current challenges, including a high level of customization, conflicting priorities, and high costs. Unsurprisingly, she has a keen sense of the balance between academic, business, and cultural challenges that impact all university members and functions via the system.

Lori is currently deeply involved in advancing and improving UNB’s data management framework, focused on ensuring that university-wide efforts to rebuild the Colleague system pay off for years to come. She is referred to fondly as the ‘Data Queen’; her impact on UNB has been enormous, and we expect much more to come.

Terry Nikkel
Associate Vice-President (Information Technology Services)