End Users '20 under 40' 2014—Jon Victorine

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jon Victorine, 33

Senior associate director of administrative services, UMass Lowell

Victorine runs the UCard, Access and Parking Services (UCAPS), where everyone affiliated with the university’s three campuses comes to get their IDs. The card provides access control, debit services for dining and laundry and student print allowances on campus. The card also can be used to make purchases at participating downtown merchants. “There’s one card to rule them all,” he says. With a background in computer science, he oversees the design, implementation, training and maintenance of all other campus security systems as well, such as camera surveillance and intrusion and fire detection systems.

What inspired you to get into the security industry?

I just fell into it. I’ve been at UMass for 15 years. I started out as a student and graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science. I couldn’t picture myself sitting in a cubical writing code. When I first graduated I worked here as an assistant director of residence life, in occupancy management dealing with housing assignments. Part of that job was to make sure students got the right access to the right buildings. Then I moved over into a technical role in my current office, and I ended up running the office. Our campus grew—we’ve put up seven large buildings in the past three years—and there came a need for more access control. So my position has evolved into the position it is today. I absolutely love it.

If you could have any technology you wanted, without regard to budget, what would it be?

I’d like to have a suite of analytics options, including facial recognition. As I walk through the residence halls, dining facilities and recreation facilities in the evening I see waiting lines just to swipe the ID. There are bottlenecks. There has to be a more surefire way of handling security. By the same token, we have a huge parking program. There are 41 gates where you have to swipe your ID. Traffic is backed up. Analytic cameras, license plate readers, they could reduce the flow. We want to make people safe and secure, but we work with an eclectic group of folks—faculty, staff, students. How do we secure them not in an Orwellian state so they’re not inconvenienced? I’m looking, now that cellphones have the technology, to NFC. That could be a big component of access control for us.

What’s your biggest physical security challenge today, and what do you think it will be five years from now?

The people we’re trying to keep safe is the challenge and will continue to be. Faculty and students will prop a door so as not to inconvenience them later. They’re not the bad guys, but in doing so they create crimes of opportunity. A student reports something stolen from their car. Did you lock your car doors? No. That’s very common across campus. We have developed a master plan for security that we are now implementing. We can now remotely secure buildings and no longer have to tie up security to open or close a building. We can remotely do lockdowns. My computer science background has allowed me to build these systems in-house. We’ve incorporated security awareness into freshmen orientation.