Syracuse University Magazine


Lee Badman

Connections Expert

It seems more a simple statement of fact than a commentary on his character when Lee Badman somewhat amusedly refers to himself as “a geek through and through.” No surprise, then, that he considers his position with SU’s Information Technology and Services (ITS) department to be something of a dream job. As network architect, Badman presides over the University’s AirOrangeX, a growing high-speed wireless network of more than 3,800 access points in Syracuse, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C., as well as network upgrades at SU Abroad centers in London and Florence. He also played an essential role in the design and installation of the Carrier Dome’s OrangeHotSpot—a WiFi infrastructure that rivals that of any NFL stadium. “I oversee the campus wireless network, having a direct hand in everything from design and strategy to consulting on policy, and am also part of a team that does the wired network,” says Badman, who started with ITS 15 years ago as a communication technician. “The technical aspects of the job are infinitely satisfying to me.”

As an additional tribute to his inner nerd, he enjoys “a wonderful side gig” as a wireless and mobility blogger for Network Computing magazine, writing four to six pieces a month for the online publication. “I get to interface with all kinds of people from out in the industry,” says Badman, an amateur radio operator who served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as an electronic warfare systems technician and technical training instructor. He also writes on topics related to higher education and information technology for Information Week, formerly covered networking topics for Cabling Business Magazine, and served as amateur radio columnist for the Syracuse Post-Standard. “It’s a great way to learn what is going on out in the world,” he says. “And quite frequently I can bring things I learn back to SU and leverage some little golden bit of wisdom for our benefit.”       

Travel has played a key role in Badman’s career through the years, finding him at home in such diverse places as Mississippi, New Mexico, Alaska, and the Philippines, and—through his SU post—on temporary assignment in Italy and England. As part of the University’s Haiti Support Committee, he has made two trips to Haiti, helping identify six Haitian students who were awarded graduate scholarships at SU, and installing wireless networks on three State University in Haiti campuses. Despite many challenges during the visits, including problems getting equipment through customs and the arrival of tropical storm Emily, Badman says he is grateful for the experience and proud to be a part of the support team’s humanitarian efforts.   

A Syracuse native, Badman is equally grateful for his family and devoted to the community they call home, serving as deputy mayor and village trustee in nearby Jordan, where he has done everything from coach Little League to work at the annual chicken barbecue. He brings that same care and commitment to his role as an adjunct faculty member at the iSchool, whether teaching Introduction to Networking or serving as guest lecturer in other courses. “Being a parent, being able to teach, and being able to service the students, I’ve had the opportunity to see the campus from a lot of different dimensions, and that’s been good,” says Badman, whose oldest son, Ryan, a 2012-13 Remembrance Scholar, graduated from SU in May and whose son Thomas is now a junior, both with majors in physics. He and his wife, Suzanne, director of patient education at Upstate University Hospital, also have a daughter, Katherine, a high school junior. “This is a wonderful place to work with a tremendous amount of opportunity and where everyone’s ideas count,” he says. “That makes coming to work very pleasant.”     —Amy Speach

Photo by Steve Sartori