The challenges facing higher education today are complex, multifaceted, and interrelated — and technology-fueled innovation is fundamental to solving them. This is why the higher-education technology group EDUCAUSE has identified “the integrative CIO” as one of its top 10 IT issues for 2020.

“Many of the serious and complex issues facing higher education will require holistic solutions that leverage multiple aspects of an institution, often cutting across academic and nonacademic units,” EDUCAUSE explains. “The integrative CIO brings in-depth knowledge of the institution, an understanding of technology solutions, a foundation in business process reengineering and project management, experience with numerous vendor partnerships, and many other skills and knowledge sets” to bear in tackling these issues.

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As EDUCAUSE observes, campus CIOs should play a central role in strategic planning for their institution. To do so, however, they should be well versed in the key trends and developments influencing higher education.

Of course, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be the No. 1 topic affecting higher education today, forcing leaders to figure out how to bring students and staff back to campus safely and prevent the spread of the virus once they return. As campus leaders grapple with these challenges, the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect everything from enrollment and finances to the quality of education and research at institutions nationwide.

About the Author:

Dennis Pierce

The former editor of eSchool News, Dennis Pierce is now a freelance writer. He has spent the last 20 years as an education journalist covering issues such as national policy, school reform, and educational technology. Dennis has taught high school English, math, and SAT prep. He graduated cum laude from Yale University. He welcomes comments at