Definition of Chief Information Officer in Higher Education

Posted By on February 2, 2011

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Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with a client of mine, to define a new job position of Chief Information Officer at their college. In my initial conversations with the college administrators it quickly dawned on me that they had no idea what a chief information officer was or even did. So I began to lay out the major differences between a Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technology.

Duties and responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer, is to have a total understanding of the mission of the college or university and facilitate the technology needs to meet the spoken and unspoken goals of the organization… To have an overall grasp of all upcoming and new technologies that will affect teaching and learning as well as day-to-day business at the college or university. To assist in the transfer of information between the University or College and all major stakeholders I.E. (public-relations, library, television, radio and technology) To have the ability to plan and prioritize A strong strategic plan for long-term stability and data integrity of all of the University or College’s information. To have a total understanding of all federal state and local regulations and laws that affects the flow of information at their organization. To facilitate the implementation of technology that will help move the college or university forward to meet all of their necessary technological needs.
Duties and responsibilities of a Chief Technology Officer is to have a overall grasp of all upcoming and new technologies that will affect teaching and learning as well as day-to-day business at the college or university, To implement a strategic plan for long-term stability and data integrity of all of the University or College’s information. To have a understanding of all federal state and local regulations and laws that affect the flow of information at their organization. To facilitate the implementation of technology that will help move the college or university forward to meet all of the necessary technological needs. To have the ability to translate technical matters into simple speak. To have A strong understanding of the time it takes to implement new and emerging technologies. To have the ability to understand upcoming technologies and be able to tell the difference between fads and IT trends.
Duties and responsibilities Director of Technology day-to-day information technology operations, Planning and implementing strong IT infrastructure, Assisting in budgeting and IT purchases of equipment, Planning and implementing information technology equipment rotation schedules servers, desktops, laptops, switches and all other hardware. Insuring customer service to all constituents, Assist in planning with overall strategic plans and goals, so that the information technology can meet the overall University goals, assisting in implementing new technologies for teaching and learning and administration.
Please find a standard matrix below that I use to help organizations to hire the right person, score between 40 and 60 you are looking for a Chief Information Officer, if the score is between 20 and 39 you are looking for a Chief Technology Officer if the score is less than 19 you need a Director of Technology. Please give each box a rating on a scale of 1 to 3.

(1) Needs some understanding
(2) With some experience
(3) Expertise

Ability to motivate information technology staff
Ability to run day-to-day information technology operation in a stable environment
financial planning and budgeting
The ability to build collaborations throughout the organization
The ability to implement a long-range strategic plan
The ability to keep up with new and emerging technologies
The ability to secure outside funding sources and grants for information technology initiatives
The ability to translate technical matters into simple speak
The ability to work with administrators
The ability to work with faculty
Understanding of all federal state and local information laws
Understanding of all information technology trends in higher education
Understanding of customer service and customer service models
Understanding of how technology affects day-to-day operations in a educational institution
Understanding of information technology governance
Understanding of library science
Understanding of pedagogy
Understanding of public relations and communications
Understanding of research computing
Understanding of The University or College missions and goals

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