Office of the Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer

The Office of the Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) provides leadership, coordination, management, and support for the strategic technology vision of the College.  In response to the ITS mission and vision, this office works to optimize technology resources to advance the College.

Our Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Christopher R. Markham joined SUNY Empire State College at the beginning of 2016.

Markham, 34, has a combined 16 years of relevant higher education, corporate and U.S. military experience, and previously served as the Chief Information Officer for Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Department of College Information Technology Services.  As FSCJ’s CIO, he re-envisioned, successfully reorganized and retooled the department, an organization of 100 employees who serve a distributed college campus of nearly 60,000 students.

At SUNY Empire, as the senior leader of the college’s Information Technology Services division his responsibilities encompass envisioning, planning, implementing, and maintaining technology related to the support and education of the college’s 20,000 graduate, nursing and health, undergraduate, international, veteran and military students learning through individual independent study, face to face in large and small groups, online and through a blend of all modes of learning.

Markham also serves as liaison between the college and SUNY’s system wide comprehensive college CIO committee (CCIO).

A brief highlight of Markham’s success as a technology senior leader both past and present include:

  • the successful turnaround and implementation of a $30 million, collegewide enterprise-resource planning system including SIS, HR, Finance, Business Intelligence, and Portal.
  • implementation of a college-wide IT service desk, resulting in thousands of dollars in annual savings
  • implementation of an educational technology vision and roadmap to include immersive telepresence, technology enhanced classrooms, and integrated online learning platforms; all in support of academic excellence and degree completion
  • consolidation of distributed technology teams, budgets, and assets
  • led the design and implementation of a globally distributed online learning campus that include staff and operations spanning; technology, nearly 100 faculty both adjunct and full time, instructional design, registration and financial aid, business office, academic advising, and marketing and communications. 

His current foci include:

  • Advancing network design and infrastructure to offer increased breadth and depth of products and services
  • Improved business operations and processes through enterprise information systems architecture mapping to the enterprise mission, business and academic models
  • Total quality management and continuous improvement:  ITIL, Run, Grow, and Transform an IT service organization
  • Data governance and master data management strategy and initiatives
  • Emerging and educational technology innovation
  • Relationship management both internally and externally for a ubiquitous technology stack and balanced portfolio of hybrid, private, and public cloud computing
  • Strategic planning for ubiquitous value through the enterprise

Markham first served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier working as a technical engineer and, later, as a commissioned officer in a military intelligence battalion, where he led operations and was responsible for a network spanning the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

While in in the private sector within banking and finance industries, he devised and implemented revenue planning for existing and potential markets, introduced and implemented innovative sales, marketing and communications solutions by leveraging customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning technology systems, for the Metropolitan Detroit, Mich., consumer and business-investment market.

Markham’s higher-education experience includes serving as a member of faculty past and present, a combined dean of general studies and interim chair of an information technology department, a combined dean of online learning and director of IT, acting CIO, CIO at Florida State College at Jacksonville, and currently Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for SUNY Empire State College.

Born and raised in Detroit, he earned all of his degrees in his home state.

Markham holds an Associate in Arts in General Studies from Macomb Community College, Detroit, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Northwood University, Midland, a Master of Arts in Economics, with an IT portfolio management focus, from the University of Detroit Mercy, and various technology certifications from the United States Army Engineers.

He and his wife have two sons, whom Markham says are the real foci of his life and all that he works for.

Markham’s Publications, Invited Presentations, and Thought Leadership

Title: Promoting Active Learning in Distance Education: A Case of Student-Centered Guest Lecturing
Publisher: Proceedings of the 17th Southern Association of Information Systems Conference
Publications URL:  http://saisconferencemgmt.org/proceedings/2014/LiEtAl.pdf

Title: Application of Lean Management Techniques in Support of Improved Online Learning: A Baseline Study of Deterministic Factors Related to Instructional Design and Course Development Efficacy
Publisher:  Proceedings of the 2013 Information Systems Educators Conference (ISECON 2013). San Antonio, TX.
Publication URL:  http://proc.isecon.org/2013/pdf/2568.pdf

Title: CIO Insight
Publisher:  CIO Insight
Publication URL:  http://www.cioinsight.com/it-management/inside-the-c-suite/leading-questions-a-cios-response-to-leadership.html

Title: Leading Questions: A CIO’s Answer to Leadership
Publisher:  IT Governance Journal
Publication URL:  http://itgovernancejournal.com/2016/05/27/leading-questions-a-cios-answer-to-leadership/

Title: Five Leadership Traits Needed To Lead Digital & Cultural Transformations
Invited Presentation Location: Annual Pink Elephant Conference, PinkForum16
Publication URL: https://www.pinkelephant.com/en-US/PinkFORUM16/ProgramDetails-SessionDescriptions/

ITS Publications

ESC Technology Strategic Plan 2010-2015 (PDF 175kB)

SUNY Information Technologies Exchange Center (ITEC) Strategic Plan (Nov. 2006)

PDF files can be opened and read with Adobe Acrobat Reader. If Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download it free from Adobe. If you are unable to access the documents on this page and would like to request a printed copy, please submit a technology support request.

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