The Non-CIO Face of Technology Decision-Making
CAOs, CFOs, and presidents weigh in on the relevance of technology.
NUMEROUS STUDIES HAVE surveyed highlevel campus decision-makers on the
impact of technology in higher education—giving center stage to the feedback
from CIOs and other IT executive leadership. But one study by Eduventures specifically
excludes the CIO/CTO categories, focusing on the observations and opinions of
nontechnical senior administration.
The study’s central hypothesis is that “Non-CIO/CTO senior administrators
are [enjoying] steadily increasing influence in campuswide technology adoption
and implementation decisions.” To get the views of non-technical campus
leadership about the strategic role of technology as “a key enabler (if
not the key enabler) to attainment of core strategic objectives for the growth
and health of the institution,” Eduventures researchers surveyed 432 CAOs
(50 percent), CFOs (16 percent), and presidents (34 percent) at USbased institutions.
In the 2004 Eduventures report, “Higher Education Survey on Leadership,
Innovation, and Technology,” The authors correlated responses on the top
overall strategic objectives with responses on the degree to which technology
enabled attainment. Finding “Enhance teaching and learning” number
one in both rankings, the researchers summed up the obvious by saying: “Senior
administrators’ faith that technology has enhanced teaching and learning
at institutions pervades survey results.”
The authors also noted that while in most cases progress mapped closely to
areas of institutional priority, the most striking exceptions were student retention
and fundraising. These important strategic objectives—ranked 4th and 5th,
respectively—revealed large gaps in attainment.
If the participants targeted (presidents, CAOs, and CFOs) continue to recognize
technology’s relevance to core strategic objectives, their technology decision-making
in coming years may reflect interest in applicable technologies such as CRM
systems. Researchers plan to watch what happens to attainment gaps in next year’s
Eric Bassett will present results of Eduventures’ 2005 follow-up study
during the Syllabus2005 conference, July 24-28, in Los Angeles.
TOP STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES VS. TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN ATTAINMENT
|Most Imporant Strategic Objectives ||Degree to Which Technology Has Enabled Attainment |
|Rank||Strategic Objective ||Rank||Strategic Objectives ||Gap|
|1||Enhance teaching and learning|| 1 ||Enhance teaching and learning||0|
|2||Improve student learning outcomes|| 5 ||Improve student learning outcomes||3|
|3||Attract/retain facult|| 7 ||Attract/retain facult||4|
|4||Improve retention rates||12||Improve retention rates||8|
|5||Improve fundraising||16||Improve fundraising||11|
Participants ranked “Enhance teaching and learning” highest as boththe most important strategic objective and the degree to which technology has enabled attainment (5 of 23 strategic objectives are listed above). Source: “Higher Education Survey on Leadership, Innovation, and Technology,” (Eduventures, 2004). Excerpted with permission, www.eduventures.com.