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sonal job description to state, ‘My CIO role is to help cam- pus stakeholders survive and thrive in the digital society in which we find ourselves.’ I have put technology on the back burner, and committed to helping people find easier, more efficient and more empowering ways to leverage the shift in a digital world. This shift has allowed me to be far more impactful and more successful on campus and within high- er education. This focus has also produced less spend on technology and more awards for the universities I am privi- leged to serve.”
Thomas Hoover
Chief Information Officer and Dean of the Library, University of Louisiana Monroe
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to other CIOs and ask for advice and mentoring. One of the best things about working in higher education is the camaraderie among CIOs and institutions. You cannot know everything and it is important to surround yourself with a good knowledge team.”
“Become ‘multilingual’ by learning enough about all of the areas in IT.”
— Jerry Waldron, Strategic Advisor, Higher Education IT and Former CIO, Arcadia University (PA)
Joseph Moreau
Vice Chancellor of Technology, Foothill-De Anza Com- munity College District (CA)
“Be sure to learn how to effectively explain highly technical circumstances, solutions or challenges in non-technical terms. Nothing will be more off-putting to non-IT col- leagues, regardless of their role, than to be spoken to by their institution’s top IT leader in voluminous technical jar- gon that most folks do not understand. Non-IT colleagues will interpret ‘techno-speak’ as being condescending, intimidating or an indication their IT chief does not under- stand or value their role. A CIO who can break down criti-
cally important technical details into terms anyone in the institution can understand will be appreciat- ed and respected. A CIO who does not possess this skill will likely find their career to be tumul- tuous and possibly short-lived.”
Sharon Blanton
Vice President and Chief Information Officer, The Col- lege of New Jersey
“Research indicates that mentorship is very helpful in preparing for the CIO role. It always surprises me when I meet someone who says he/she is interested in becom- ing CIO but hasn’t told anyone. So my first piece of advice is to own the aspiration and share it with those who can help you along the way. Secondly, I recommend learning as much as possible about the career to make sure it really is a good fit. I always say ‘chase the work, not the title.’ Some people advance and then find the position isn’t what they thought it would be. So, make sure you love the work you do and don’t worry so much about titles. Take advantage of the many training oppor- tunities available from organizations like Educause and CHECS and get a variety of CIOs in your network. I have found that most CIOs genuinely want to assist with career planning.”
“Find a successful CIO who can mentor you.”
— Wayne Brown, Vice President for Information Technology Emeritus at Excelsior College (NY) and Founder, Center for Higher Education CIO Studies (CHECS)
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | November/December 2017

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