11 leaders shaping the future of higher education


Name/Title: Connor Gray, Chief Strategy Officer at Campus Management

Bio: As chief strategy officer for Campus Management, Gray is responsible for developing a robust strategic vision for the company. Gray brings over twenty years of experience in executive leadership for prominent technology companies, most recently as senior vice president, operations and product development, for Channel Intelligence, an e-commerce company that was purchased by Google. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gray was senior vice president and chief technology officer at StarCite, a global leader in SaaS-based solutions for event management, where he led product strategy, engineering, information technology, and customer service. Gray also brings an enterprise software background from executive roles at Indus International and SCT. Gray is a frequent speaker at many industry-related conferences and has published numerous articles on the application of technology tools and strategies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from San Diego State University, with additional graduate course work and advanced certificates from San Diego State and Stanford University.

The game-changer: The shift to an “On-Demand Model.” Between the super storm of factors challenging higher education – competition, funding, delivery models, and outcomes – and the generational shift that is occurring relative to prospective inbound students, higher education 10 years from now will look very different than it does today.

Future trend: Technology will play a huge role in enabling institutions to adapt to new models for on-demand engagement and delivery.

Passion: The “On-Demand” shift occurring in higher education is both frightening and exciting. I am passionate to help our clients be successful as new models emerge and they learn how technology will play a pivotal role.

Hobby: Spending time on the lake with my family.  We love the water.

Quote/Belief: The first thing that came to my mind was a story that motivational speaker Doug Hanson told me about a personal coach he met with once and the coach asked to see his “to do” list. The coach reviewed it and after seeing a very impressive list of his “to dos,” he asked to see his “to be” list.  I’ve got my “to be” list, and I think about it often.


Name/Title: David J. Hinson, Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer of Hendrix College, in Conway, Arkansas.

Bio: Hinson is also a mobile developer, who has developed commercial titles for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7. Previously, Hinson was the CEO of Sumner Systems Management, a software development company that created custom applications for social networking services such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and for the Apple iPhone.

The game-changer: I don’t know that there is any one single “game-changer” that I can name, but I think most would agree that the ready availability and free access to knowledge—in our hip pockets—is certainly near the top of everyone’s list. If anything, I would say that the biggest game-changer in higher-ed is that colleges and universities are no longer assured that “business as usual” is good enough to thrive, or even survive.

Future trend: The consumerization of IT will continue unabated, as will the proliferation of mobile – and wearable – devices on campus. We’re already seeing four-to-five devices connected to our Hendrix College campus network, for every student, staff, and faculty member.

Passion: Creating a campus technology environment that promotes active learning and intellectual curiosity, where decision making is predicated on the belief that pedagogy drives technology—and not the other way around.

Hobby: Music. I love playing my Taylor acoustic guitar.

Quote/Belief: Challenge everything.


Name/Title: Joanna Young, Chief Information Officer and AVP for Finance & Budget at the University of New Hampshire.

Bio: Young’s IT career spans two decades in property & casualty and higher education, including eleven years in executive roles. Young’s experience includes applications development, infrastructure management, program office management, and mergers & acquisitions, both domestically and internationally. As CIO for University of New Hampshire, Young is accountable for applications and infrastructure supporting all university functions, including learning management systems, distance learning, student and advancement systems, university system enterprise services, networks, servers and data centers. In her role of AVP for Budget and Finance, she is responsible for budgeting, financial planning, business services and strategy & planning for UNH. Young’s prior CIO assignment was at Liberty Mutual Group. She is also a member of Globespan Capital’s Advisory Committee and a regular contributor and speaker at various industry forums.

The game-changer: New entrants & disruption in the higher-ed market.

Future trend: Flexible pathways to degrees, or new equivalent of degrees such as badging and credentialing.

Passion: Engaging more young people, especially females, in Science, Tech, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, whether as a primary course of study or even as a minor or certificate. It will position them for success regardless of career interest.

Hobby: Hiking.

Quote/Belief: “The end crowneth the work.” — Queen Elizabeth 1st