- The role and responsibilities of campus Chief Information Officer has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, with some saying the CIO position has shifted from a practical technician focus to cabinet-level oversight on budget and strategic planning.
- The growth of the education tech industry has pushed CIOs into new territory around contracts and service provision, and building relationships with tech vendors and campus constituents.
- Most CIOs quoted for Campus Technology’s report on the evolving role of the CIO said understanding the business of higher education is critical to staying power in the challenging role.
CIOs must be among the most knowledgeable, well-versed people on campus in trends, security issues and infrastructure details that most senior-level officials never care to think about. But CIOs also have to think about external relations, customer service, race and ethnicity and profitability — as a college president would.
As campuses debate the ethics and value of hiring new presidents with more corporate experience than academic work history, CIOs could emerge as the ideal candidates to help move schools deep into 21st century learning modules that integrate diversity, accessibility and cost savings for students.
Good CIOs can accumulate credentials and skills in higher education much more easily than academicians and educational experts can pick up knowledge about IT and technology. With so many changes in the way higher education must do business just to stay alive in the marketplace, it may not be long before governing boards and search firms recognize the same potential.