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CIO Profiles: In Their Own Words

IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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CIO, Los Angeles Community College District

CAREER TRACK
How long at current organization: 21 years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Hosting a national conference on information technology.

Most important career influencer: My first boss, Mary Ann Breckell, VP of administrative services. She served as a role model for my style of leadership and management. She always preached team building, and her emphasis on management as a partner in helping staff achieve their potential and the concepts of loyalty and integrity have proven invaluable.

VISION
Best way to cope with the economic downturn: Take advantage of the downturn to make dramatic improvements to processes. In good times, there's often less urgency to improve the way we do business. During a downturn, suggestions that can save money or improve processes have more traction.

The federal government's top technology priority be ... to explore all and adopt many of the optimization measures that private industry has pioneered. There's no need to start from scratch when many great minds have paved a path that can be emulated. From this analysis can come cost savings and improved services that would benefit the entire country.

Kids and technology careers: I wouldn't steer kids in a particular direction. If they're interested in a career path, I'd provide them with as much knowledge as I possess and let them determine that it's right for them. I'd encourage my children to find something that they're passionate about and become great at it.

ON THE JOB
IT budget: $10 million

Size of IT team: About 60

Top initiatives:

  • Building a high-performance, high-availability fiber-optic network to meet the communications needs of our students, faculty, and support functions.

  • Planning, designing, and implementing a modern student information system to meet the technology support and customer service needs of our core business.

  • Expanding our investment in virtualization. Desktop virtualization will be a major initiative--we've already deployed virtualization for our network, servers, and storage.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We have the traditional metrics and key performance indicators that revolve around dollars. In addition, we include measures such as student success and initiatives that address our core mission.

Personal
Colleges/degrees: California State Los Angeles, School of Business and Economics, MS in information systems; University of Phoenix, Online BS in computer information systems

Favorite president: Teddy Roosevelt--you have to admire his style

Biggest business-related pet peeve: People who don't know our business telling us our business

Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Google's Eric Schmidt

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... CEO

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