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The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a 55-person professional association headquartered in DC. When the association unexpectedly lost their internal IT resources, a trusted colleague sent them our way. Here’s what AAC&U President, Lynn Pasquerella, has to say about our partnership.
“At the American Association of Colleges and Universities, our mission is to advance the public purposes of higher education, the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting innovation, equity and excellence in liberal education.
We were facing a situation where we had some turnover in our IT program. Optimal was highly recommended by our colleagues, other associations in the Washington higher education secretariat. We thought that this was the best choice for us at that particular moment in time.
It’s very challenging to find the depth and breadth of experience that Optimal can provide for us. It made perfect sense to take advantage of the expertise that was there, the knowledge and to have people who were responsive to our needs at any given moment in time, rather than trying to hire a group of people at a very challenging time during the pandemic.
The greatest benefit we’ve received from Optimal so far has been in helping us move forward around issues of cybersecurity. This is a critically important issue, not only a fiduciary responsibility, but important for a staff morale—for maintaining an association that serves more than a thousand colleges and universities across the country and around the world.
Working with the Optimal team is fantastic. Every staff member is responsive, knowledgeable and really buys into what we try to exemplify here in terms of a “yes” culture. Not telling us why things can’t be done, but saying, “Yes, we’ll help you do that.” If someone called and asked why they should do business with Optimal, I’d say because it is an organization that is committed to the highest standards of excellence and integrity, and those values are reflected in all that they do.
We have a diverse staff of 55 individuals with different needs and as you can imagine, when this kind of training is mandated, people are often skeptical, but I had people calling me and writing me saying, “That was the best trading I’ve ever received. Could we do more of this in the future?” So that speaks volumes to the quality of work that’s being offered by Optimal.
Our mission is driven by values of equity and excellence in higher education. Those same values of equity, quality, excellence are exemplified by Optimal every single day in the work that they do for us.”