Program Manager
IT Consultant in Data Center Management and
Change Management
M.S. in Computer Information Systems
1337 N. Ashland Ave., #2
Chicago, IL  60622
United States of America

Home:    773-235-3080
Cellular:  312-758-0307

Home  |  Persistence  |  The last class I took  | Impressions of my Classes and Teachers and Teams
My UoP MS CIS Schedule  |  My current grades  |  Examples of Course Work  | The Program Description: My UoP MS CIS Class
MyCampus.phoenix.edu  |  Bio  | Teamwork  |  Gallery   |  My Higher Education Timeline  
My thoughts on working in an online education program  |  Why work on a Master's Degree in a Graduate program? 
The UoP contact if you decide online education if for you  |  Certifications - Present & Planned 
Graduating and Getting your Graduate Degree at UoP - How Does It Feel? billslater.com

Institute of Data Center Professionals - Data Center Technology Certificate Program
*** Stolen Material Notice ***

My University of Phoenix Information Website


The Last UoP Class I Completed:

CMGT 585 CIS Risk Management and Strategic Planning

This course provides the knowledge and skills to develop effective short, intermediate, and long- range strategic information systems plans. Information technology security and disaster recovery plans are also examined.


My Higher Education Timeline:

1979 - 1980 - Enrolled in and took classes in an MA in Business Management program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln

July 1980 - Withdrew from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, due to complications with severe illness.

November 2002 - Made the decision to pursue a Masters Degree in Computer Information Systems with the University of Phoenix

December 2002 - Orientation at the Schaumburg, IL campus of the University of Phoenix

January 23 - February 12, 2003 - Managerial Communications

February 20, - April 2, 2003 - Human Relations and Organizational Behavior

April 10, 2003 - May 21, 2003 - Legal Environment of Business

May 29, 2003 - July 9, 2003 - Accounting for Managerial Decisions

July 17, 2003 - August 27, 2003 - Programming Concepts

September 7, 2003 - October 15, 2003 - System Analysis and Development

October 23, 2003 - December 10, 2003 - Project Management

December 18, 2003 - February 11, 2004 - Programming Management

February 19, 2004 - March 31, 2004 - Database Concepts I

April 8, 2004 - May 19, 2004 - Database Concepts II

May 27 - July 7, 2004 - Network and Data Communications I

June 30, 2004 - Accepted into the MS in Information Security program at Capella University

July 15 - August 25, 2004 - Network and Data Communications II

September 2 - October 13, 2004 - CIS Risk Management and Strategic Planning

October 31, 2004 - MS in Computer Information Systems degree conferred by UoP

January 13, 2006  - Begin the Data Center Technology Certificate Program at Marist College online.

February 2008 - Complete the Data Center Technology Certificate Program at Marist College online.

Note: In January 2006, I received a National Science Foundation scholarship and started in the Data Center Technology Certificate Program created by the Institute of Data Center Professionals at Marist College.  Taking two 3-credit hour classes at a time for 12 weeks, with only a weekend between sessions has been a brutal academic endeavor, sometimes requiring as much as 35 to 45 hours of study and course assignment work..  It has been even tougher than getting a graduate degree at UoP, where I only averaged about 30 hours a week.  Anyway, I will finally complete this Data Center Technology Certificate Program in February 2008 after completing my Data Center Accounting class. Read more about the entire program here.

April 27, 2009 - October 4, 2010 - MBA Program at the University of Phoenix



Impressions of my Classes and Teachers and Teams

Course No. and Name Teacher Team Members My Comments

COM 515 - Managerial Communications


Ms. Gloria Thompson

Interesting and very fast-paced class.  This was my indoctrination to online learning.


Gary C., Jeremy G., and Bill

Great guys.  Jeremy was in Sicily with the USN and Gary was in TN.


An OK class but very fast paced and demanding.


ORG 502 - Human Relations and Organizational Behavior


Dr. William Cameron

A person who teaches and also practices organizational behavior work for a living.  He is the second best teacher I ever had in my life.  Turned me and the class onto Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline principles of Learning Teams.  These teachings will benefit me the rest of my life.



John B., David, Cassandra K, John D., Debbie B., and Bill

Great folks.  John B. is in Atlanta; John D. was in Kansas City; Cassandra is in northern IL; and Debbie is in western IL.


A great class, and a great teacher.  I got behind due to UoP technology problems, but did get caught up and made an "A" in the class.  It was well worth the time and effort.


LAW 529 - Legal Environment of Business


Professor Whitney Bell, J.D.

A ex-patriot lawyer of 12 years who recently returned to the U.S..  Single mom, living in a northern suburb of Detroit, MI.  Liked to split hairs on answers rather than trying to teach jurisprudence, which would have been more helpful.



John D. Cassandra K., Joe B., Arvid, and Bill

Great folks.  Arvid is in MN; John D. is in Kansas City; Cassandra is in northern IL; and Joe B. is with the Army in South Korea.


A very tough class that I was glad to complete.  I learned a lot, but it was a huge amount of time and effort.


ACC 529 - Accounting for Managerial Decisions


Professor Michael Greenen, CPA, CFP

He is an accomplished CPA and CFP living in a western suburb of Chicago, IL.  He is like any other hard core CPA, only more so.



John D. Cassandra K., Debbie B., and Bill

Great folks. Debbie B. is in western IL; John D. is in Phoenix; Cassandra is in northern IL; and Joe K. is in Houston.


A very tough class that I was glad to complete.  I learned a lot, but it was a huge amount of time and effort.


CSS 561 - Programming Concepts


Professor Ken Murphy

A very experienced teacher who is quite technical.  He is in the Lansing, MI area, and just started his PhD program.



Joe K., Debbie B., Amanda P. and Bill

Great folks.  Amanda is OH; Debbie B. is in western IL; and Joe K. is in Houston.


This class was the most fun so far.  I really enjoyed the programming, flow charting, and the team project. Thank you, Ken Murphy, for doing a great job!!!

I downloaded and used the Bloodshed C++ 4.0 compiler for Windows for this class.  It may be the world's best FREE C++ compiler.  It is available under the GNU Public License and I highly recommend it!!!



CGMT 555 - Systems Analysis and Development


Professor April Adams, a specialist in Medical Information Systems with her own company in El Paso, TX.  She is also a former Big Four firm IT consultant and now the CEO of her own Medical Software firm in El Paso, TX.  Oh yes - she is from the South, like me!  Great to have a Southerner for a teacher.  A picture of Professor Adams is shown below:

It was Professor Adams' very first online class.  I wish her well in future endeavors.


John D., Debbie B.,  Mike G. and Bill.

Great folks. Debbie B. is in western IL; John D. is in London; and Mike G. is in SC.


This is a Supplemental Recommended Reading List of relevant books.

This was a tough class.  I worked very hard and wrote four individual papers and had a big team project.  All of this was very mentally and labor intensive.  I probably did as much work in this class as I did in my ORG 502, LAW 529, and ACC 529 classes.

I don't regret it, however.  I learned a huge amount for all the work I put in, and I have some good templates for the future, for documents like Requirements Specification, and Request for Proposals.  In addition, all the extra resources I used such as Yourdon's Modern Structured Analysis and Page-Jones' The Practical Guide to Structured Systems Design proved to be invaluable in making it through this class.

By the way, I did part of this course work with a new Dell laptop using an Internet connection aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship called the S.S. Radiance of the Seas to/from Alaska from Sept. 20 - Sept. 27, 2003. see below:


CMGT 575 - CIS Project Management


Professor Seth Chaikin is the teacher.

Professor Chaikin is in eastern Kansas - Overland Park.  He is a professional IT project manager and an excellent online class Teacher.  Plus, he writes GREAT lectures and shares his personal insights from his own project experiences with the class.  This is a great class.



Dave Everhart (C# Guru), John Dreager, and Thor Johnson

Great folks. Dave is in Columbus, OH; John D. is in London; and Thor is in San Diego, CA.


This is a Supplemental Recommended Reading List of relevant books.

November 13 is the HalfWay Point in the Program, because we are in class seven of a 13 class curriculum.  And November 13, is the HalfWay Point point in the class.  We will celebrate this weekend.

This was a lot of work and a lot of fun. We learned a great deal about  using IT Project management concepts to manage an SDLC-based project.  The project we selected was to develop a Data Center Management System, which allowed me to further enhance ideas developed in CMGT 555.  I liked it and my Team members did too.  Also, I learned enough to take and pass the COMPTIA IT Project+ exam.


CMGT 576 - Programming Management


Professor Joseph Langdon of Hawaii. (?)

He is a great professional  programmer and teacher.  He is also an MCSE and a former USAF officer, who has lived in Japan.  He loves teaching and is more capable than any professor yet, except for Dr. Cameron (ORG 502). All that is the good news.  

However, I wish Professor Langdon had done a better job of trying to help create a less stressful, more harmonious team environment.  At times, I almost felt that the demands of a team contract with almost triple the expected work that the other teams had to do, requirements of a point payment system, and allowing team members to do as they please turning in everything late, was in effect setting up situations that would deliberately stimulate conflict rather than to quell it.  Why this was the case, I am uncertain, but no amount of pleas to help make it better, could prevent the end result, which was a Team Project that didn't work, because of all the disagreement and lack of cooperation on the Team.


Mr. Ecks. and Mr. Why.

 (names deliberately concealed)


This class was like a Charles Dickins novel: "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

The five individual assignments, which were papers about computer languages, were fun.  One will be posted in my Examples of UoP work web page.  The discussion questions, which were based on real-life situations, including a case study from the teacher's personal experiences, were very stimulating.

The Team Project, creating a manual of best practices for systems development, did not go well.  That is actually an understatement.  But I want to preface all this by saying that I liked and admired my team members, until it came to seeing their performance on the team project.  The teacher required Team Contracts specifying work to be performed and point payment for that work.  One stubborn team member wanted to do 26 best practices based on CMMI Best Practices, instead of the 10 required by the teacher.  It came down to a vote and the other team member help install the 26 Best Practice Contract.  The problems caused by lack of agreement, and lack of team cooperation really hurt the team, my morale, and our grade.  The other team members participated as little as possible until the very last couple of days, then everything was a rush job.  We got a 21 out of 30 possible points on the paper, leading to a B+ for my final grade the class.  Seeing that the other teams got their work done smoothly and swiftly, it made me really upset that being in this situation hurt my grade.

In fact, my final grade as an 89.6, but the teacher did not want to round up to a 90, so I would be eligible for an A-.  So lacking .4 point caused me to get a B+ instead of an A-.  This was the first time I have ever seen a situation like this in academia also.

All in all, these were very hard lessons.  The really big disappointment was that I had been on seven other teams that were each different, but for the most part OK.  But this class was my most stressful and unpleasant UoP experience.  I will avoid being on a team again with the same people, and I will avoid getting this faculty member again for an online class.

Since UoP believes so strongly in the team concept and it comprises 30% of a UoP student's grade, if it wants to continue growing and helping students have meaningful educational experiences, UoP urgently needs to develop tools and rules for managing online conflict, particularly where Team Members are involved.  Besides the difficulties of not being able to work things out sitting across from each other, the 6-week classes move so fast that it doesn't leave a lot of time to easily define a situation, and work out a solution.  

Indeed, the area of online conflict resolution is ripe for development of specialized methods that effectively deal with it.



CSS 558 - Data Base Concepts I



Mario Missakian, PhD

A fascinating teacher with an accomplished background of experiences in consulting, and education, concentrating in Computer Science and in Business Management



Judy H., Darren B. and Alan G.


Great class, because I was able to draw heavily from my previous knowledge and experience in databases and database management systems, while also learning about cool things like OODBMS, ORDBMS, OLAP, MDDBMS, MOLAP, and ROLAP.  

The team project was a great learning experience. Darren (former U.S. Army Ranger) was a fine team member who helped a great deal on the database administration / disaster recovery plan.  But I will be getting new team members for future classes, and I will leave it at that. 


This is an interesting article.

bslug_01.jpg (33971 bytes)


CSS 559 - Data Base Concepts II



Professor Edward Spear, MS, MBA, CISSP, PhD Candidate

This U.S. Naval Academy graduate is  former F-14 RIO, a Top Gun graduate, and retired Commander from the United States Navy.  

f14-photo-vf213-19l.jpg (20028 bytes)

More on the F-14

President and CEO of an educational loan company.  He is a former DBA and a former CIO.  Loves managing and solving business problems with technology.  




Shelley S. and Paul N.  

Shelley is in OH and Paul is in NJ.

They are both serious professionals who love learning. Together, we make a great team.


This was an excellent, but very demanding class.  The papers were interesting assignments.  

Papers I wrote covered:

  • An Enterprise database
  • A Data Dictionary and Data Normalization
  • Data Security
  • Data Privacy

You may want to check out this supplemental resource list of references from my own personal library.  It contains database references as well as important references on security, privacy and the law.

Check work examples for the individual assignment on data security and IT security that I posted.  Look in the Section on CSS 559.

Finally, this is what I wrote in my final weekly summary report:  

In Closing…

I want to thank Professor Spear for conducting a very worthwhile CSS 559 class.  I was challenged to study, to work and to learn and it was fun.  I learned more about data security, data privacy, RDBMSs, the state of the RDBMS market, and data warehouses than I ever expected.  Thank you! That’s what it’s all about for me.  I also want to thank the other students in the class for making this an enjoyable online learning experience.  Special thanks go out to Teammates Paul and Shelley.  I admire and respect you both, and I was indeed fortunate to be on a Team A, with such smart and eager learners, who are each consummate IT professionals.  I’ll quote Dickins here and say, “ ‘God bless us everyone!’ cried Tiny Tim.”


TCM 537 - Networks/Datacom I


Professor David Kerr, MS.

This gentleman works on technology projects for the U.S. Department of Defense.  He is an expert on IT network management, programming, and project management. He has over 20 years of IT experience, and he really enjoys teaching at the University of Phoenix.  He is an excellent teacher and brings tons of practical experience and professional perspective to the class. 



Shelley S., Paul B., and Gary T.

Shelley is in OH and Paul is in Indianapolis, and Gary is in VA.

They are all serious professionals who love learning. Together, we make a great team.



This was also an excellent, but very demanding class.  The papers were interesting assignments.  

Papers I wrote covered:

  • The Telephone System at Work
  • Data Communications Protocols at Work
  • The LAN at Work
  • Solving Performance Problems on a Slow LAN

Our Team project was a 29-page paper titled: Saving the Enterprise Network from Remote Users and Users with Insecure Home Networks. There was also an accompanying presentation that was about 25 slides.  I felt like everyone did a good job of pitching in and dealing with the tasks that they volunteered for.

I LOVED this class!!!

This was the best of all 11 classes I have taken at UoP.  David Kerr should be training UoP faculty members HOW to conduct great classes.  He knows how to teach, motivate, and energize a class to reach its peak performance.  If this guy is as good in person as he is in the online classroom environment, then he is Superman.


TCM 538 - Networks/Datacom II


Professor R. Rufus Rogers -- A graduate of the UoP MS CIS program and an experienced IT professional with over 25 years of experience.  He is an excellent teacher and brings tons of practical experience and professional perspective to the class. 


Paul B., Rob F., Polinia G. and David C. 

Paul is in Indianapolis, Rob is in a suburb of Boston, Polinia is north of Denver, CO, and David is in a suburb of Atlanta. 

Together, we make an interesting team.



This was a reversal of almost all previous classes.  Our overall grade was more Team Intensive than usual, and most of the work was class work related to the Team project.  Our Team deliverables were:

  • Week 2 - Requirements Document

  • Week 3 - Network Design Diagrams - Logical and Physical (See diagrams at http://billslater.com/uop/wfs_uop_work_examples.htm)

  • Week 4 - Performance Issues Memo

  • Week 5 - a Detailed RFP

  • Week 6 - A Team Presentation


Individual Project

The Individual project was a very tough paper that was due on the last day of class.  The assignment required that we each cover the following topics from an Enterprise Network Management architectural issues perspective:

  1. Dealing with Legacy Systems

  2. Internet Security

  3. Offshore Development and Support

  4. Mobile Computing

This was one of the hardest papers I have ever written.  The final version was 50 pages and contained 13 diagrams and one table.

A presentation covering the highlights of this paper was also required.  

My presentation was 40 slides and contained all my diagrams.

I got perfect scores on everything.

All in all, a good class and a good experience, though there were two team members I don't plan to work with again, and two that I do plan to work with.


CMGT 585 - CIS Risk Management & Strategic Planning


Professor Reinaldo Fernandez, M.S. --  An experienced IT professional with over 20 years of IT experience.  Professor Fernandez is also a great instructor. His kind, enthusiastic, engaging manner, as well as his vast experience and knowledge made it a very worthwhile class experience for my final UoP class. In addition, I think his cool, level-headed, positive manner, and his determination to continue participating in the wake of three huge hurricanes, definitely gives him the edge: This was the best instructor in the UoP MS CIS program. Thank you Professor Fernandez!



Paul B., Rob F., and Derek H. 

Paul is in Indianapolis, Rob is in a suburb of Boston,  and Derek is in  Kentucky.

Together, we made a good Team.



This was the first class in which UoP decided to relax its requirements and cut back on the required deliverables.  In this class, each week, we alternated between Team Assignments and Individual Assignments:

Our Team Assignments were:

  • Week 2 - Business Recovery Plan for HP's Legal Department

  • Week 4 - Fault Tolerance Considerations for HP's Legal Department

  • Week 6 - IT Portfolio Analysis for HP's Legal Department 
    a presentation was also required.


The Individual Assignments: 

  • Week 1 - Risk Assessment

  • Week 3 - IT Offshore Outsourcing 

  • Week 5 - IT Portfolio Management 

The topics or DRP, BCP, and Strategic Management planning were all very thought provoking and required a lot of work and study.  I worked almost as hard in this class at the Account class (ACC 529) and the Business Law class (LAW 529).  But Professor Fernandez was simply excellent and made it fun.  I admire the man a great deal.   UoP needs more professors like Professor Fernandez!

All in all, a great class and a great experience!  This was a nice way to end the program.


Examples of Course Work


My thoughts on working in an online education program

Pursuing a degree online is an intense educational process that forces you to manage your time and juggle your life responsibilities of work, family, and school.  Without sounding like I am complaining, I will be very honest and say that it is one of the toughest things I have ever tried to do.  The demands of the work as well as the pace at which is assigned and comes due is just mind-boggling sometimes.  My two toughest classes, the Business Law and Accounting resulted in many nights working late, and only getting four to five hours of sleep.  Note that all the classes from this MS CIS program schedule, must be taken and passed in order, so they make you take four non-technology classes BEFORE you start in the technology classes.  As of July 17, 2003, I have nothing but technology and management of technology classes until I complete the MS CIS program.  It should be more fun and interesting than the first part of the program.

Nevertheless, I am very happy and proud to be in this program and am seeing dramatic positive results in my life as a result of taking the classes and doing the course work to get this degree. 

An interesting thing about UoP is that they are very demanding, both in terms of individual course work and course work produced as a Team.  Team work and the ability to get along with other team members is very important at UoP, and you cannot succeed unless you can work well as a team member as well as an individual.  I should also add here that I have made several friends online both from Team Members and non-Team members.  UoP tends to attract a very high-caliber type of student who is bright, energetic, and highly motivated to learn and do the course work. 

Last Updated on Sunday, July 11, 2004