University CIO Discusses the Future of Education, by Peter High in CIO Insight Article

March 12, 2015
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Peter High

03-12-2015

Excerpt from the Article:
The State University of New York (SUNY) of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, also known as SUNY Cobleskill, has an emphasis on technology degrees, as the name suggests. Not so surprising, the CIO of SUNY Cobleskill, James Dutcher, not only manages the school’s technology, but he also is involved in thinking about using information to enhance the experience of professors and students alike. In this interview with CIO Insight contributor, Peter High, Dutcher describes his vision as a university CIO, the future of education technology and the topics he likes to cover in his much-read blog.

CIO Insight: Please describe your role at SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology Cobleskill.

James Dutcher: I am the CIO here in SUNY at the Cobleskill campus where my team’s responsibility is both providing and facilitating all IT/business services regardless if these originate on or off campus. Starting with the “T” in IT, this means providing and maintaining the infrastructure of the campus data center, wired/wireless network, phones, computers, tablets, printers, 3D printers, wearable tech and so on. On the “I” (information) side of “IT,” we provide services and support for our portfolio of applications around local and remotely provided services in our Student Information, Course Management, Website(s), Portal, HR, Financials, Email/Collaboration, Storage, systems, and more. Of course, there is also strategy, governance, budget, personnel, vendor, policy & security, and project management details that are important to pay attention to.

CIO Insight: What are your priorities for the foreseeable future?

James Dutcher: The priorities can be summed up in two ways: “being the change” and “leading the change” for my organization. In today’s world the reality is that no organization can achieve success without IT. This means that there is a strong, inseparable union of the organization, IT and our collective strategy, goals and objectives. So my role as CIO and my IT team will continue to emerge and be the digital guides & the co-thought leaders/contributors for the university, partnering across divisions and providing key strategic leadership to drive transformation needed and able achieve the university’s vision, goals and objectives. My obligations have been, and will continue to be, managing highly available IT and its effective/efficient use. More importantly will be managing rapid change as IT is very quickly evolving, impacting the organization, and involving massive cultural changes in the way we think about what we do, how we teach, learn and conduct research, and how we will help our students achieve success. Balancing the ever-present push and pull from early adopters and keeping the maintenance of mission-critical services upon which thousands rely is critically important. As CIO, this also means keeping ITS department staff actively, forward leaning & learning as it is imperative for the ITS dept. to continue to assist communicating, leading, and transforming the university in areas of teaching, learning, and research as these models shift in our continuing flattening world. Key to leading and managing in our flattened world is working across the organization in advancing the strategic vision of the institution by identifying technology implications and opportunities.

To read the remainder of the article, please visit CIO Insight

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