Computer Information Technology Administration and Management Alumnus (’00), Business Systems and Communications Administrator

“Fortifying Life University Through Intelligent Tech”


The Information Technology Department or I.T. might not be the flashiest or most visible part of a university’s success, yet a healthy I.T. department is as vital to its survival as water is to all living things. Paul Ketcham is one such integral I.T. professional for Life University (Life U) that has happily worked to keep our complex computers and systems running in different capacity for over 27 years. Ketcham’s mother also had a long career at Life U for over 20 years working as the mailroom supervisor.

Ketcham grew up in Woodstock, Georgia surrounded by nature and family on all sides on a large piece of family land where he would set up camp on his own inherited property. His aunt and uncle still live on the family homestead as well, which is now made up of several nearby properties. That calming space of home and community must serve as a nice respite and counterpoint to his day job of putting out metaphorical fires of the digital kind.

Ketcham’s Life U journey began shortly after graduating high school, when he began his studies at Life U as a Computer Information Technology Administration and Management student, a degree since renamed the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and Technology. While attending school, Ketcham worked in the Purchasing Department. This was in 1998, when computers were just starting to come of age and take off. As Life U began to grow its computer network, Ketcham developed a reputation for being able to troubleshoot bugs and issues with equipment, fixing any problems before I.T. even had to get involved. Eventually this talent got him moved to the I.T. Department to work as a computer technician. The department resided out of the Roswell Street office at that time, so Ketcham split his time hitting the books at the main campus and strumming the keyboards at work.

Soon, Ketcham wasn’t simply repairing computers, but learning how to physically change computer systems, learning from technicians how a computer functions and the intricacies of building computers from scratch and deploying them. He studied Network and System Administration at Lincoln Tech, so he could make the move from working as a general computer technician to the network side of I.T., managing Life U’s servers. The entire process felt very “intuitive” to him as he began to learn how to work with and write code.

“Every day is something different in I.T., and I think that’s what I like the most,” Ketcham said.

The biggest challenge that Ketcham cited as an ever-present priority is to ensure that the University’s systems are compliant with all regulations.

“I strive to keep the system secure and locked down and only allow whoever has been approved to gain access to certain information. That’s a big deal to me. That’s important for sure,” Ketcham said.

To that end, 2-factor verification is used in logins where possible, and Ketcham recommends all savvy internet users enact it on all personal systems as well for a higher degree of privacy protection.

On a personal note, Ketcham has been around for many of Life U’s major milestones, enjoying, in particular, the growth of the various athletics programs and watching high-level sports teams utilize our top-notch facilities.

“I was there at the time that the Hawks would come and practice in the gym. There was a time where they changed the regulation for the three-point line, and we ended up having to go and spend all weekend with razor blades taking up the three-point line. I mean, just little things like that,” Ketcham reflected.

Ketcham also remembers fondly when the track was constructed prior to the 1996 Olympics and when he was able to watch the bells be installed in the shiny new Bell Tower that stands as a true Life U landmark and memorial to the champions of Chiropractic.

When asked what advice he has for students interested in technology-related careers, spending some time to keep up with emerging trends and keep skills fresh topped the list.

“I would say just try to use a computer as much as you can for any kind of work that they do, because the longer that you stay away from doing those sorts of things, you start forgetting things. Other than that, AI is becoming very popular,” Ketcham said.

Currently, Ketcham and his team are updating Life U’s data transfer system to utilize API transfers, which should result in much better speed. Ketcham looks forward to continuing to support the lofty goals of this fine institution by carefully maintaining its multi-faceted I.T. needs alongside his team.


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