March 22, 2012

Crain appointed chief information officer

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- R. David Crain has been named assistant provost and chief information officer at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Chancellor Rita Cheng announced the appointment, which follows a national search, today (March 22).  The appointment is effective April 1.

Crain, assistant vice president overseeing technology infrastructure at the University of Missouri, replaces Frank Scobby, who retired as SIU Carbondale’s information technology director in April 2010.

“David brings the breadth and depth of experience we need as we continue to enhance and expand our information technology capabilities,” Cheng said.  “He also brings extensive administrative experience, along with a broad understanding of the fiscal challenges facing higher education.  I look forward to his many contributions.”

In his current position, Crain oversees a $30 million annual budget and 88 full-time employees.  He is responsible for the university’s data centers, telephony systems and cable television systems; network and Internet connectivity; and servers, mainframe and enterprise storage.

While the role of a chief information officer (CIO) is vital in many organizations, Crain describes it as “absolutely essential” in higher education.

“Technology has been and will continue to change the way we educate and support our students,” he said.  “There is no segment of society that adopts new technology more quickly or effectively than college students.  Because technology is constantly evolving, a CIO must manage and implement endless change in a strategic manner.  To put it simply, my goal is to make SIU Carbondale an international leader in educational and research technology.”

From 2007 to 2009, Crain served as director of systems and operations for the University of Missouri’s Division of Information Technology.  Prior to that, he was the manager of the Data Warehouse and Reporting Team University System at Missouri from December 2005 to August 2007.

Crain served as director of information systems/chief information officer for the Missouri House of Representatives from 2003 through 2005, and was the information technology manager for the University of Missouri Assessment Resource Center from 2000 to 2003.  He also has experience in the private sector.

He earned his master’s degree in information systems in 2005 from American College in Birmingham, Ala., and his bachelor’s degree in communications and political science in 1992 from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.