January 19, 2016

Christopher R. Markham Joins SUNY Empire State College as Technology Officer and Assistant Vice President for Information Technology Services

Christopher Markham
Christopher R. Markham Photo/provided

(Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – Jan. 19, 2016) Christopher R. Markham has joined SUNY Empire State College as technology officer and assistant vice president for information technology services. He begins his new role with the college on Monday, Feb. 1.

Markham, 33, has a combined 15 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, and successfully reorganized and retooled, the department of college information technology services, an organization of 100 employees who serve a campus of nearly 60,000 students.

At SUNY Empire, Markham’s responsibilities encompass envisioning, planning, implementing and maintaining technology related to the support and education of the college’s 20,000 graduate, nursing, 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.

Among his specific responsibilities as a senior leader of the college’s Information Technology Services are:

  • developing, refining, and communicating a collegewide education-technology vision
  • information security, internal security control, orientation and training related to information security
  • leadership and direction in the development, management and evaluation of all college technology and technology services, which support teaching, learning and research
  • planning and administering end-user technical support, policy development and implementation, training and professional development and project coordination.

On a day-to-day basis, Markham will oversee and manage all aspects of the ITS educational and emerging technology and user technical-support groups, in providing quality assurance and enhanced performance for technical support services for students, faculty and staff.

Markham also will serve as liaison between the college and SUNY’s systemwide comprehensive college CIO committee. He will report to Samuel Conn, the college’s interim executive vice president for information technology services and administration.

“Chris has a proven track record of delivering value, leadership and vision through technology-based solutions to support and advance institutional strategic vision and mission, and I am delighted to welcome him and his family to the SUNY Empire State College community,” said Conn. “The collaborative, team-oriented approach, which have been of such great benefit to the institutions where Chris has been so successful, make him the right person to help move SUNY Empire forward. Together with the talented, dedicated ITS team, Chris will help meet the needs of current and future students, as well as our outstanding faculty and staff, as we strive to be a more nimble and responsive institution of public higher education.”

Markham’s success as CIO of FSCJ also include:

  • the successful turnaround and implementation of a $30 million, collegewide enterprise-resource planning system
  • implementation of a collegewide IT service desk, which produced thousands of dollars in savings
  • consolidation of distributed technology teams, budgets and assets.

“My family and I are truly honored and excited to join the SUNY Empire State College community,” said Markham. “The college’s talented and engaged people, its spirit of innovation and the opportunity to work across the state and beyond drew me to the college. I look forward to collaborating with new colleagues as we support the college’s progress and enhance its state, national and international leadership in adult and nontraditional student-centered learning and degree completion.”

About Christopher R. Markham

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

As a bank manager, 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 systems, for the Metropolitan Detroit, Mich., consumer-investment market.

Markham’s higher-education experience includes serving as a member of the faculty, dean of general studies and chair of an information technology department, dean of online learning and director of IT, acting CIO and, most recently, CIO at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

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, and a Master of Arts in Economics, with an IT portfolio management focus, from the University of Detroit Mercy.

He and his wife have two sons, who are 7 years and 18 months old.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 77,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977. Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918