IT as a Strategic Imperative for Boards

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Many boards and administrations may be missing opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations about strategic technology, which is not only a key differentiator but also a necessity for meeting an institution's strategic goals and mission.

image of lighted computer circuits in the shape of a human brain and brain stem
Credit: Esin Deniz / Shutterstock © 2018

Recognizing that effective, strategic technology leaders depend on strong relationships with presidents, provosts, and governing boards, EDUCAUSE has been working to strengthen these critical connections, in line with our third strategic priority for expanding partnerships and collaboration.

The Association for Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) focuses on governance in higher education, working with presidents, chancellors, board members, and other strategic leaders. At the end of last year, I was asked to serve on an AGB board task force charged with developing a statement on innovation. I was very encouraged that AGB recognized how often innovation relies on technology. I was also pleased to work with members of the AGB board and with community leaders such as Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, and to engage in conversation with national innovators such as Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University. The AGB Board of Directors' Statement on Innovation in Higher Education strongly supports the need for strategic placement of information technology within higher education institutions that aspire to be innovative.

Following this work, AGB asked me to write an article on the intersection of technology innovation and boards for its flagship publication Trusteeship. You can read this article here: "IT: The New Strategic Imperative."

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John O'Brien is President and CEO of EDUCAUSE.

© 2018 John O'Brien. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.