Head of Information Technology to leave university

By Tyler Davis

SIU could have another interim title to add to its already long list of temporary leaders.

David Crain, chief information officer, said he will leave the university in the spring to take a similar position at the University of Texas at Dallas. He said Texas wants him to start on or before April 1 as a vice president and its chief information officer.

“I could start as soon as I want but I am trying to give SIU quite a bit of transition time, so probably sometime in March I will have my last day,” he said.

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President Randy Dunn said he has known of Crain’s departure for nearly a week. He said the university will miss Crain’s ability to keep the campus up-to-date on technology needs.

Dunn said there will be an interim CIO and Crain will meet with Provost Susan Ford in the coming days to decide who that will be.

Crain, 45, said he has a monthly meeting with Provost Susan Ford on Friday, in which the two will discuss his departure and transition options.

Dunn said he believes the interim will be a person already within SIU. He said the permanent CIO will undoubtedly come via a search committee.

“That is clearly a senior level administrative position on the campus and I anticipate going forward with a national search,” he said.

Crain agreed, adding that the position is too important for his permanent replacement to be hastily chosen.

“A permanent CIO search, like a chancellor or provost or any of those positions, is going to take six to nine months,” said Crain, who is also an assistant provost.

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Crain, who made $180,000 in fiscal year 2014, said his future job will be a pay increase. He said he took the offer because it’s a promotion.

“It’s a higher position at a little bit larger of a university,” Crain said. “It’s definitely a career opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.”

He said the University of Texas at Dallas’ enrollment has grown 9 percent in the past two years, and 42 percent in the last seven years, which is a good problem to have in terms of technology services.

Crain worked at the University of Missouri as an assistant vice president and chief technology officer before taking his job at SIU.

He said his career goal is to be CIO at university the size of Missouri or the University of Texas at Austin.

When asked if employees see SIU as a stepping stone to a larger university instead of a permanent career, Dunn said it depends on the employee.

“For some, they will use their time here to move to a larger program or institution, others make a career at this institution,” he said. “As long as those individuals are high performing, and fully devoted to advancing SIU Carbondale… we benefit from that.”

Tyler Davis can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @tdavis_DE.

Luke Nozicka contributed to this report. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @lukenozicka.

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