CIO Leadership Academy

Registration is now open – Next Class Begins February 2018

About Academy

NYSERNet and the SAIL Institute have partnered to provide a custom academy designed around a series of workshops to help aspiring and current CIOs and IT professionals develop and strengthen their leadership abilities. This cohort-based program moves participants through a journey of self-discovery, skill development and knowledge creation. A variety of pedagogical approaches are used to ensure that learners of all styles are able to engage in and contribute to the program.

The program is largely interactive, using a variety of small group discussions, role-playing opportunities, simulations, leadership assessments, panel discussions and case studies all situated within the context in which the modern CIO exists. The faculty for the program will be a combination of leadership development experts and experienced CIOs.

Intended Audience

  • New and aspiring chief information officers, chief digital information officers and information technology directors.
  • Current directors, coordinators, research directors with significant responsibility for information services, including information technology, computing, software support, information security, data infrastructure, library services and so forth.
  • Those who provide the coordination and leadership for ensuring quality and success of information-related activities on their campuses.

After attending this program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand their personal leadership style and behavioral impact on others;
  • More effectively use communication and relationship-building skills to motivate others;
  • Lead and develop teams within complex organizations;
  • Understand the position of the CIO as a senior leader in their setting;
  • Identify new and future challenges confronting CIOs and develop proactive action plans;
  • Create a unifying vision for their organizations and learn strategies to collaborate across organizational silos.


Why Attend?

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) Leadership Academy enables current and aspiring CIOs to strengthen their leadership ability by:

  1. Gaining new understanding of their personal leadership styles;
  2. Knowing when to use different leadership skills based on the situation;
  3. Being able to articulate a vision and turn the vision into implementation;
  4. Learning how to build and lead a team;
  5. Developing new collaboration skills; and
  6. Advancing their understanding of key issues confronting CIOs (e.g., information security, institutional data management and new data-enabled student success technologies).

Applied Learning Experience

As part of the learning experience, each participant will be expected to develop a plan to lead the implementation or development of an initiative, project or sub-project on his or her campus. Participants should come to the opening retreat with an idea for a project that they could move forward in a three- to 12-month time-frame. A planning framework will be provided and discussed during the opening retreat and participants will be expected to work on the development of the plan with pre-assigned learning groups during the duration of the meeting. Each participant will present his or her action plan as part of the capstone event. Plans should be developed by each individual in collaboration with other participant(s).

Instructional Philosophy

This cohort-based program moves participants through a journey of self-discovery, skill development and knowledge creation. A variety of pedagogical approaches are used to ensure that learners of all styles are able to engage in and contribute to the program. The program is largely interactive, using a variety of small group discussions, role-playing opportunities, simulations, leadership assessments, panel discussions and case studies all situated within the context in which the modern CIO exists. The faculty for the program will be a combination of leadership development experts and experienced CIOs.

Opening Event


Two-Day Workshop

February 6 & 7, 2018

Albany, NY


Mid-semester Workshop & Networking

New in 2018!
We will get together in person in the middle of the program for a workshop event and networking with the 2017 academy graduates.
Location will be determined once the class forms, and will serve as an opportunity for a participant to host the group at your campus!


3 Virtual Growth Sessions

Growth Session 1: Information Security & Collaborative Leadership
March 2018 (Date TBA)
Morning: 9:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Growth Session 2: Situational Leadership & Predictive Analytics
April 2018 (Date TBA)
Afternoon: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Growth Session 3: Implementation & Communicating as a CIO
May 2018 (Date TBA)
Morning: 9:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.



Capstone Event & Graduation

May 22, 2018

Location TBD



Dr. Simeon Ananou is Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at the University at Albany, SUNY. In this capacity he is responsible for general areas of Information Technology Services, including Client Support Services, Enterprise Application Services, Enterprise Infrastructure Services, Information Security and Research IT.

Prior to joining UAlbany, Ananou served as Chief Information Officer and adjunct in Information and Decision Sciences at Salisbury University. He was responsible for the strategic oversight of IT and communication infrastructure, as well as academic and administrative information systems and business intelligence for the campus. He has also served as Associate Provost at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania; Chief Information Officer at Piedmont Virginia Community College; and Director of Information Technology Operations at Ashland University in Ohio.

His career started at The Ohio State University, where he served in various capacities ranging from Student Assistant, Telecommunications Systems Specialist, Network Administrator then Systems Engineer at the University Network Integrated Telecommunications Systems (UNITS) in the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Dr. Ananou has a wide range of research interests, many focused on how people interact with technology. Ananou holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University, an MBA from Baker College in Flint, Mich., and a D.Ed. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Denise Burbey is Executive Director of Technology for Jamestown Community College and has served as the college’s CIO since 2008. She provides strategic direction for the college’s technical and information security areas across four locations, including the leadership of Management Information Systems, Information Technology Services and Media Services. As a member of JCC’s Leadership Council, Denise forges partnerships across various departments to accomplish goals in support of the college’s mission and strategic direction.

Denise also served for seven years as JCC’s first Director of Distance Learning, establishing the college’s online and interactive television programs, including faculty training and development, system configuration and installation, and student support. She began her tenure at JCC in 1997 in the Center for Continuing Education, where she provided training and project management for corporate clients. She began her higher education career at a four-year private college in Wisconsin as assistant director for an accelerated-degree completion program.

Denise has been an active member of Chautauqua County’s Leadership Network since 1999 and currently serves as a board member and chair of the strategic planning and financial stability committees. She earned her M.S. in Adult Education from Buffalo State College, a Teaching in the Virtual Classroom Graduate Certificate from Fielding Graduate University, and her B.A. from Silver Lake College. She recently completed the Certified Lean Professional program through the University at Buffalo, and is a certified peer reviewer for Quality Matters.

Dr. Karlis Kaugers has served as CIO since 2011, leading the IT Services area of SUNY Oneonta. He supports the mission and goals of both SUNY Oneonta and SUNY through the development, deployment and integration of information technology to advance the mission of the college. Responsibilities include oversight of operations, strategic planning, personnel and financial management and planning. He is responsible for reporting, metrics and key performance indicators for IT as well as the execution of regular assessments of user feedback and communication of the future of IT services on campus.

Karlis is the author or co-author of more than 25 peer-reviewed articles in Computer Science, has been awarded more than $1 million in grants as either a principal investigator or co-PI, and served as a reviewer and co-editor for a number of publications in Computer Science. He was recently featured in the EDUCAUSE CIO minute at:

He is currently the vice-chair of the SUNY CCIO and has participated in both the EDUCAUSE Institute Leadership Program and Learning Technology Leadership Program as well as a number of Faculty Leadership seminars. He was awarded the 2010 outstanding service award from the College of Engineering at Western Michigan University, and has earned a series of other service and teaching awards during his time as a faculty member.

Karlis earned his B.A. in Computer Science from Kalamazoo College and his M.S. and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. He has worked in higher education in the IT support realm at a variety of research institutions. Prior to joining SUNY Oneonta, he served for 13 years as a faculty member in Computer Science and five years as the Director of IT and Facilities for the College of Engineering at Western Michigan University.

Sharon P. Pitt serves as Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President of Information Technology at Binghamton University, a State University of New York. As CIO, Sharon is charged with developing strategic IT initiatives that forward the University’s mission. She oversees Information Technology Services in the support of teaching, learning, research and the student experience at the university.

Sharon came to Binghamton University after nine years at George Mason University, where she served as Deputy Chief Information Officer. In this role, she oversaw central IT infrastructure and services, including administrative systems and information management, networking, data centers, telecommunications, security compliance, and customer service and support. She began her career at George Mason University as Executive Director of Instructional Technology (DoIT). In this role, she created the instructional design and learning space design teams, launched mobile learning tools and the Virtual Computing Lab, began university-wide distance education activities, and worked to integrate innovative technologies in and outside of the classroom.

Sharon has served on industry and educational advisory boards, including Blackboard Inc., the Mid-Atlantic Research Alliance, NCREN, and NYSERNet. Sharon is currently co-chair of the Higher Education Information Security Council of EDUCAUSE and a member of the SUNY Security Operations Executive Committee. Sharon has participated in many collaborative activities including the ECAR Cloud Working Group, EDUCAUSE program committees, the Electronic Campus of Virginia, the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), and the Virginia Software Summits.

Sharon has served as a mentor for the EDUCAUSE Senior Leadership Roundtable and the Leading Change Institutes. Sharon received a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) from Virginia Tech, a graduate certification in Higher Education Administration from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Virginia Tech. Sharon is a 2004 Fellow of the Frye Leadership Institute.

Dave Powalyk has over 38 years of experience in higher education and most recently served the State University of New York System as the Chief Information Officer (retired). Prior to his appointment as SUNY’s Chief Information Officer in July 2014, Dave held various leadership roles throughout his career.  These have included: Chief Transformation Officer, Interim CIO at the System Office, Chief Technology Officer, Director of Strategic Planning, the Director of Computing and Applications Development, as well as Project Manager for various system-wide business initiatives. Prior to SUNY, Dave worked for the NYS Education Department after earning his SUNY degree.

Additionally, Dave has been the primary contract negotiator for all system-wide technology contracts for more than 25 years. His efforts have resulted in agreements that have been sustainable for decades and enabled the University to provide access to state of the art technology at all 64 SUNY campus locations. It has been estimated that over the last three years a total system-wide savings of $32M has been achieved as a result of these efforts, with cost avoidance estimates totaling in excess of $100M. He has developed and deployed Strategic Partnership with a number of SUNY vendors that are critical to the long-term success of SUNY students and the administrative business services and mission.
He provides strategic direction to senior management on technology, services and support to meet both current and future needs of students, faculty and staff throughout the SUNY system.

He possesses:
* A strong background in IT management combining experience in budgeting, project management and contracting,
* The ability to develop, manage and deploy IT plans that achieve strategic goals, and
* The experience in building, leading, collaborating and motivating teams inclusive of senior management, vendors and the functional and technical organizations.

Dave has presented on “Negotiations Strategies for Higher Education” at Educause as well as numerous sessions at various national events. He continues to serve on global Executive Customer Advisory Boards. Most recently Dave received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement award from his colleagues ‘For exceptional dedication and selfless service to the State University of New York, including contributions beyond his immediate responsibilities as a technology professional”.

Christopher M. Sedore is President of the New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet), a non-profit technology company that connects New York’s colleges, universities, and other research and education organizations to each other and the broader digital world.
Before joining NYSERNet, Chris spent 25 years at Syracuse University, serving as Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Operations, Senior Vice President of Enrollment Management and other roles. He currently teaches at the University’s School of Information Studies.
In addition to leading NYSERNet and teaching for the iSchool, Chris is an avid technologist and maker, who enjoys fusing technology and the physical world in everything from 3-D printing to woodworking and welding.