Christopher Waters, CIO at Elon University, was recently appointed to a one-year term as Director-at-Large for the Association for Communication and Information Professionals. His appointment came during the association’s annual conference, held this year in Dallas, Texas, where he was already giving a presentation on managing information technology in higher education. This opportunity will give Elon a chance to participate in technology conversations at a national level.
His new appointment
Waters was offered the chance to sit on the association’s Board of Directors as a Director-at-Large for the upcoming year, a privilege annually extended to one member of the organization.
“The incoming president gets to appoint one member from the membership to sit as a director for a year,” Waters said. “That’s because that president is looking for a skill set, input, and set of values [to add to the group.] I was honored to be that appointee.”
As Director-at-Large, Waters will have monthly phone meetings with the Board of Directors to discuss goals and pursuits of the organization. Waters says he is excited for this opportunity to work so intimately with an organization that can help his employees here at Elon.
“I get to help shape an organization that could help our own staff,” Waters said. “I like having the opportunity to be in the company of different institutions from all over the nation. I’ll be sitting around a table with people who are my peers from other universities.”
Waters also gave a presentation entitled “Leveraging Information Technology Resources in the Changing Higher Education Landscape” with Sue Workman, the associate vice president of client services and support from Indiana University.
“We covered topics like staff development, budgeting resources, infrastructure, teaching and learning impacts, organization structures,” Waters said. “We took all things we deal with in our daily jobs, and created interactive presentation in which we asked the audience what they were doing in their universities. We wanted to do something more than just telling people how things worked.”
What it means for Elon
Waters walked away from Dallas this year with a new position and four days worth of new information he can apply to his day-to-day operations as Deputy CIO. He says he values these opportunities to learn new practices and ideas he can share with his team at Elon.
“Any time you’re exposed to what your peers are doing, you learn something,” Waters said. “Having the opportunity to look outside the walls of Elon and hear what other larger and smaller universities are dealing with helps you make more informed decisions in your own organization.”
While he learned a number of things that he can apply to his position at Elon, Waters says the most striking and rewarding parts of these conferences is the reassurance that he and his team at Elon are doing the right things.
“You always walk away from these conferences with feeling good about where you are,” Waters said. “When I hear about universities struggling, I remember that I am supported and we have a strong staff that’s developed. I’m very proud of what is happening at Elon.”