Mike Dieckmann, vice president for information technology services and CIO at Florida Polytechnic University, recently made significant contributions to digital journal Educause Review’s annual top 10 issues report for higher education information technology for 2024.
Educause, a national association for higher education IT professionals, annually assembles a diverse panel of experts to explore pressing challenges in the field. Dieckmann has been involved with Educause since its inception in the early 1990s.
"It is gratifying to be asked, to be viewed as someone who has intelligent things to say and is in touch with higher education trends in this area," said Dieckmann, who co-authored the piece.
As part of the collaborative effort, Dieckmann said the panel comprehensively analyzes previous years' challenges, considering how they continue to evolve. The theme for this year’s issue is institutional resilience.
“It was a very exciting process to be part of it, to say, ‘Let’s step back and not think about technology, but about the issues facing our institutions,’” he said.
In his role on the panel, Dieckmann took part in a thorough review of two of the 10 issues: Financial Keys to the Future and Adapting to the Future. The group’s work culminated in the production of publications and guidance for universities, all tying back to the issues and the theme of institutional resilience.
“The idea of resilience is that you have to be on top of what’s happening and be prepared for what’s going to pop up next, whether it’s something like Covid or the next enrollment or financial crisis, and be ready and able to respond,” he said. “We looked at the different ways an institution has to strategize about financial resilience, admission resilience, resilience of staff to be able to adapt and change and keep up with culture and tech, and how does IT contribute to all of it?”
Dieckmann said Florida Poly is actively engaged in transformative projects aligned with the institution's strategic plan, emphasizing the use of IT to maintain leadership in the STEM fields. He added that the University’s agility and young age mean it can quickly adapt and embrace many solutions that may be challenging for older and larger universities.
"We're striving to be very innovative, using digital transformation to help the University be at the forefront of teaching, learning, and research, particularly in the STEM areas," Dieckmann said.
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