As with any workplace, staff costs can make (or break) your budget. In Higher Ed IT, we are often asked to spin straw into gold; creating the most robust technology environment possible using minimal university resources. One way to produce under such pressures is to create the right balance of team member types, hiring independent contractors for certain roles and employees for others. While there are many benefits to hiring an employee, such as loyalty, continuity across projects, and the retention of years of knowledge, there are also many benefits to working with an IT contractor.
Being a Higher Ed CIO is a complex and often misunderstood job, as anyone who follows the blogs of any Higher Ed CIO can attest to. This misunderstanding has led to a few frequently propagated myths about the profession, myths that can be counterproductive to progress. Here are the top five myths about Higher Ed CIO’s that seem to be kicking about the edusphere, and the truth behind these myths that might have you thinking twice about how vital and difficult the Higher Ed CIO’s job truly is.
The popular webcomic xkcd takes occasional good-natured jabs at academia, and this comic regarding university websites is achingly on point. Your institution’s website is your gateway to the world of your users. It is often the first contact that a user might have with your institution, whether they are a would-be student, prospective faculty member, or parent of a college hopeful. Your website should be a hub of vital information, easily navigable to users who will need to look up small (yet important) details like the institution’s address, contact information for university officials, a campus map or parking information.
Over the years, new technologies have created incredible opportunities for enhancing learning in Higher Education. Video conferencing is one such technology, offering benefits that have already begun to change the face of Higher Ed as we know it. Any institution that hasn’t started to invest in their video conferencing capabilities is going to find themselves severely behind the times.