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Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:05

Leadership camp deadline looms


Applications to attend the 15th annual IT leadership programme specifically focussed on the needs of IT professionals working in the tertiary education sector close on Monday. This year's particular carrot is a very strong line-up of presenters with extensive and broad university experience.

The Caudit Leadership Summit will operate over five days in August, and there are places for just 46 Australian and New Zealand professionals to attend the event being held in Kingscliff, NSW. The Summit, which has been developed by the Council of Australian University Directors of IT (Caudit), is intended to provide a unique forum for tertiary sector IT professionals navigating the occasionally arcane world of university technology.

According to Stephen Whiteside, the director of the Summit, and CIO at the University of Auckland, where he is also director of organisational performance, demand for the programme always exceeds supply. Intended for IT managers who might aspire to one day becoming university CIOs, Mr Whiteside said that 30 per cent of CIOs in Australian and New Zealand universities who were promoted into that role, had attended Leadership Summits in the past.

Mr Whiteside said that although university IT managers needed many of the same skills as their counterparts in other sectors, the Caudit Leadership Summit provided additional insights such as how to manage large campuses and large user populations.

This year the Summit has attracted two of the higher profile university sector ICT personalities - Nick Tate, formerly CIO at the University of Queensland and how adjunct professor at UQ and president of the Australian Computer Society, and Peter Nikoletatos who has recently taken up the CIO reins at the ANU after previously running the IT shop at Curtin University.

Mr Whiteside said that university IT managers were navigating a number of major issues at present including massive changes in teaching and learning, which has put IT in the spotlight at many universities. This is particularly the case in Australia where Government reforms have this year lifted the quotas on undergraduate intakes, leading to a surge in student numbers in some courses.

Mr Whiteside said it was important for Caudit to continue to invest in growing IT talent as it was not easy to parachute IT executives into senior university roles as; 'It is very hard to import ready-made executives to work in the chaotic environment that a university generally is.'


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