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Jim A. Jorstad

Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government

Jim Jorstad is an innovative global force on the effective use of technology in teaching, learning and research. Currently the interim CIO at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he heads a team responsible for providing services to over 1,500 staff and 10,000 students. He has extensive experience in learning space design, strategic social media and deploying major IT technologies. His film and journalist work has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Forbes and NPR and he is the recipient of the 2013 CNN iReport Spirit Award. Jim is also an EDUCAUSE Leading Change Fellow, one of 50 IT professionals chosen worldwide for the award.

As smart devices and classroom technology are increasingly integrated into the daily lives of network users, college and university IT departments must plan for more bandwidth and anytime, anywhere connectivity.
A career IT and teaching specialist weighs in on office- and technology-related terms that are working their way into the lexicon and, in some cases, causing confusion through repeated misuse.
Higher education has not been immune to the impacts of remote work and employee turnover, and many in the IT industry say now is a good time to think about how to preserve institutional knowledge.
As the popularity of tech-related degrees and training programs has yet to fill the growing need for IT talent, some career professionals share non-academic qualifications and experience that helped them succeed.
Storing so much personally identifiable information, research and other data, colleges and universities have become frequent targets of cyber criminals. To qualify for cyber insurance, they must have some controls in place.
To avoid losing staff to the private sector over competitive salaries and flexibility, IT department managers should cultivate an environment of trust, honesty and accountability to get the most out of top performers.
Quality IT staff with institutional knowledge have never been more important, but without flexibility and other benefits, colleges and universities risk losing them to the private sector over salaries and stress.
Beyond technical expertise and resources, a culture of inclusion, communications and empathy can help IT departments succeed in implementing new initiatives, improving operations and helping clients.
As the adaptive necessity of telework became a norm for major IT organizations, some found it actually helped productivity. Colleges and universities might take cues from the private sector in how to make the most of it.
While a chief information officer’s primary responsibilities lie in IT systems and cybersecurity, finding the right person for such a critical leadership role requires looking at more than technical savvy.