Why the education CIO should be a ‘servant leader’

Higher-education chief information officers should be in the university president’s cabinet, the CIO for Texas Southern University,¬†Mario Berry, tells EdScoop in a recent video interview. And once they get there, he says,¬†they should use technology to solve business challenges, never forgetting the purpose of their role.

“A CIO must be a very visionary partner,” Berry says. “[The CIO] is a servant leader and understands the role of business and how to get the most return on that investment overall.”

Through the inclusion of IT leaders in a university president’s cabinet, Berry says that gets them to the table to help solve “many different business challenges.” CIOs need to “bring that all together,” he says.

While Berry does indeed sit in the university president’s cabinet at Texas Southern University, he says it’s imperative for his peers at other universities across the country to gain similar influence over their organizations.

“I think the role that we are going to continue to see is an expansion of CIOs sitting at the president’s level to help guide and strategize on the best ways to ensure that the institution is successful,” Berry says.

Berry on his top priorities:

Berry on technology’s role in student success:

Berry on emerging technology:

These videos were filmed on April 9, 2019, at the Ellucian Live conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of a partnership between EdScoop and Ellucian.