Featured Publications, Stories and Stuff Written by or About Steven Burrell

A journey underway and in development by Steven Burrell

2020 was challenging, even for the most seasoned higher education leaders and the pandemic has given rise to the rapid expansion of the CIO’s visible universe. And while the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines signals a possible return to “normalcy” in the future, the higher education landscape is far from settled. Higher education CIOs will be particularly challenged with significant strategic initiatives and operational imperatives amidst a sea of institutional and technological change. To succeed at digital transformation (Dx), CIOs require a new approach to how campus leaders interact with each other to clarify digital strategy, manage change, and increase institutional agility to meet rapidly changing needs. Quantum thinking is a deeper, more diverse way of looking at our problems by introducing holistic thinking, avoiding bias, and providing a broader basis for modern CIO leadership. More...

Future Investigations into Quantum Leadership

Future explorations and writings will examine Quantum Leadership applications around such topics as team building, change management, decision making, customer service, technology design and development, diversity-equity-inclusion, and communications training, among other topics.

Share ideas and comments about Quantum Leadership and applications with me at

by: Dr. Steven Burrell

Leadership transitions can be stressful and uncertain. Fortunately, most of us do not have to prepare too often for new leadership. But at some point, during your career, your leadership will change, and you should be prepared to manage such transitions professionally and gracefully. This article provides some personal insights and is informed by some of my friends and colleagues who are or were presidents/chancellors of higher education institutions. More...

December 10, 2020, by Steven Burrell and Laura Jones

Developing an effective, efficient data governance process can be a long, strenuous task, but the result is well worth the struggle it requires...

November 19, 2020, by Steve Burrell, Dan Harder and Jane Livingston

Members of the EDUCAUSE Enterprise IT Program Advisory Committee share their advice on how enterprise IT leaders can further institutional goals...

by: Christine Fisher

The striking nature of the Grand Canyon State has molded life there, but not just wildlife. Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Northern Arizona University (NAU) draws inspiration from its chiseled, mountainous location 7,000-feet above sea level.

by: Mary Raitt Jordan

This is a story about reliance and determination in the face of failed markets and the digital divide. And about one student from the Hopi reservation walked 8 miles, one way, to get a Wi-FI signal to do her homework...

by: Dr. Steven Burrell

This 2015 job performance model is intended to provide an accurate depiction of the current and future role and responsibilities, requisite skills, knowledge, and experience of a Chief Information Officer (CIO) at higher education institutions. The job performance model establishes a framework of core competencies required of an IT leader in higher education. The model can be used in talent management programs that seek to objectively identify, assess, and develop key IT leadership talent. The model can be applied: as a mentoring and development tool for developing future technology leaders; as a guide for developing job descriptions with sensitivity to institutional maturity; and as an assessment tool for current CIOs.

by: Dr. Steven Burrell

This is a qualitative study of higher education women CIO’s and their experiences with overcoming gender bias in their careers. Recommendations for aspirational women IT leaders and advice for male CIOs on how to manage gender bias in their IT organization.

by: Dr. Steven Burrell

Higher education institutions are under increasing pressures to graduate students at higher rates to meet legislative mandates and industry workforce needs. Institutions have turned to technological capabilities such as customer retention management systems to help them manage student success. Northern Arizona University (NAU) implemented the Salesforce CRM in 2016 and recast it as a student relationship management tool (SRM). This research study sought to understand factors leading to a successful Salesforce implementation and the ability to enhance job performance among users. Four of the five hypothesis developed for this research were supported and inform best practice concepts for SRM implementation. The model developed can be used for future research and could include measures of student outcomes with respect to applications of SRM.

For additional works and publications by and about Steve, see published works on the vitae page.