At Seton Hall University, I (the CIO) report to the Vice President for
Finance and Technology.
Seton Hall University is a mid-sized, Catholic-affiliated University of
4,400 full-time undergraduate students (approx. 7,500 FTE) located in
suburban New Jersey (about 15 miles from New York City). We are a
"ubiquitous computing" campus, that is, we provide all undergraduate
students with a laptop computer (replaced every two years) as part of their
tuition and fees.
Prior to becoming CIO, the University had a small academic computing group
reporting to the Provost / CAO and a larger administrative computing /
telecomm unit reporting to the CFO. The University's 1995 strategic plan
called for a consolidation of academic and administrative computing. The
Provost / CAO and CFO began implementing a bold solution, calling for these
units to be consolidated with the University Library under a CIO / Library
Dean, reporting to the Provost / CAO. This position was actually posted in
early 1996. However, this consolidation ran into two problems. First, the
library faculty (the librarians at Seton Hall University have faculty
status) pointed out that the Seton Hall University Faculty Guide required
approval of the affected faculty before reorganizing a unit containing
faculty. University Counsel concurred, and it was evident that this
organization would not be approved by the library faculty. Second, the
position as posted required an MLS as well as significant experience in IT
management, and the University found few candidates that had both
This of course was a benefit to me, since the CIO position was reposted
without the MLA requirements, with academic and administrative computing
reporting to the CIO, and with the CIO reporting to the Provost / CAO. I
applied and was appointed CIO in early 1997. I would not have qualified
for the originally posted position, since I do not have an MLA. In
mid-1997 the Provost / CAO and CFO both retired. In the ensuring
reorganization of the cabinet, I was moved to report to the new Vice
President for Finance and Technology.
I believe there is no one right place for IT to report. To be successful,
the CIO requires the support of the President, Provost / CAO, and the CFO.
The specific placement of IT in the organization depends on the campus
culture and the personalities involved. I see successful CIO's that report
to Presidents, Provosts, and CFO's. I also see campuses where IT is not as
successful as it might or should be because the CIO (whatever the title or
reporting relation) lacks the support of a segment of the campus.
The reporting structure you describe is somewhat unusual. I'd be
interested in hearing from others on this list of models where a similar
structure was successfully implemented. The Lehigh University model is the
one Seton Hall examined in planning for our merger in 1996, but I spoke to
several managers from both the library and IT side at Lehigh, and the
difficulties of such a merger should not be discounted.
I'd also be interested in hearing from you why your executive team believes
such a structure makes sense for UNC - Ashville. Has the Dean / Director
of the Library conveyed a compelling vision for how IT can support the
mission of the University? Does the Dean / Director of the Library have
experience managing an IT unit? Does he or she have a successful track
record in navigating the University's budget process? Has your campus
considered the potential difficulties in merging what are likely to be two
quite different organizational cultures? How with the management team
react in the event there is "tissue rejection" and key positions elect to
leave the new organization?
Stephen G. Landry, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Seton Hall University
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask] To: [log in to unmask]
Sent by: The Subject: [CIO] IT and Reporting Structure
<[log in to unmask]
Please respond to
Our campus is considering a reorganization, and
as part of the process, we are considering having
our IT department report to the library.
1. For those campuses who have this structure,
what are the pros and cons?
2. Where does the IT department report on
your campus? I would be curious about
the distance IT is from your chancellor/president
Knowing this is the CIO listgroup, I suspect many
IT departments will report to the CIO but I would
appreciate your response.
I will summarize.
Mike Honeycutt UNC Asheville University Computing [log in to unmask]
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent
Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/memdir/cg/.
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/memdir/cg/.