Title

From Operations to Performance: The Evolution of Chief Information Officers in Higher Education

Date of Degree

5-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Program

Education

Advisor

Nancy Robbins

Advisor

Dorothy Ettling

Advisor

Mark Teachout

Advisor

David Vequist

Abstract

The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to identify the technological expertise, professional experience, and academic credentials of higher education CIO’s, and (b) to understand how CIOs perceive their contribution to the organization using Baldrige Criteria 4: measurement, analysis, and knowledge management.

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) play a vital role in managing technology in higher education institutions. The field of informational technology (IT) has changed dramatically in recent decades and has presented a great challenge to those involved in technology leadership. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to identify the technological expertise, professional experience, and academic credentials of higher education CIO’s, and (b) to understand how CIOs perceive their contribution to the organization using Baldrige Criteria 4: measurement, analysis, and knowledge management. This exploratory study employed a mixed method approach— sequential explanatory strategy— and both survey and interview techniques were involved. The findings of the study showed that the majority of the CIOs in this study had: approximately 10 years of CIO experience; up to 25 years of experience in higher education; extensive technological expertise in all areas except outsourcing; and CIOs grew out of other roles in higher education. Most CIOs felt comfortable with their understanding of internal organizational concepts such as culture, but not as comfortable with understanding external forces such as competition. CIOs perceived their contribution to the organization primarily through responding to changing needs and providing opportunities for innovation, and there was lower involvement in and importance of selecting, collecting, reviewing, and analyzing data related to key organizational aspects.

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