About Us


CHECS' mission is to contribute to the education and the development of the chief information officer in higher education.

Who we are

The Center for Higher Education CIO Studies, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by Dr. Wayne A. Brown. Dr. Brown is a longtime chief information officer in higher education, industry and the US Air Force. He has devoted his professional and academic studies to CIO attributes and effectiveness in higher education. He based his survey on one created by Dr. Detlev H. Smaltz; the survey was modified and used with his permission.

The Study

The CIO study provides information about higher education CIOs' attributes, education, experience and effectiveness. The data learned is beneficial to seasoned technology leaders and those who aspire to become CIOs as well as to those who may be hiring a CIO in the future.
The research is unique from other CIO studies in that it is a two-part survey, involving the CIO as well as other members of the institution's management team (IMT).

The Technology Leadership (TL) study invites participation from those in the next organizational layer down from the CIO.  The TL study examines the demographics of the TL, where they have worked, and the activities they are undertaking to prepare themselves to become CIOs.  The TL study also includes opinions from the CIOs and IMTs on the activities and attributes they believe are important for a higher education CIO.

The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) study examines the demographics of the higher education CISO, the career route they have taken to their role, and the activities and attributes needed for a CISO according to the CISO and the CIO.

Information learned through the research is presented to the public at industry-related venues; past presentations include EDUCAUSE, The Association for Computing Machinery, Campus Technology, Ellucian, ACUTA, and other higher education conferences. Findings have also been published in industry-related publications, such as the Chronicle for Higher Education, Campus Technology, Public CIO, EDUCAUSE Quarterly and EDUCAUSE Review and Gartner.

The CIO study has been conducted since 2003 and the Technology Leader study has been conducted since 2009. The CISO study was begun in 2014.

The Center for Higher Education CIO Studies, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and gifts you make may be tax deductible. You can make a gift to support CHECS research or to support one of the endowed scholarships that CHECS has started.  Thank you for your help.

Scholarship News

Report sales and corporate donations have enabled CHECS to endow annual scholarships:

1.  The Dr. Trudy Abramson Scholarship awarding $1,000 a year to a higher-education technology leader pursuing a doctoral degree at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

2. The Dr. Polley Ann McClure Scholarship awarding $1,000 a year to an undergraduate student in the Management Information Systems program in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas Austin.

3. The Dr. Detlev H. Smaltz Scholarship awarding $1,000 a year to an undergraduate or graduate student in Management Information Systems at Florida State University.

4. The Stephen Pribyl Scholarship Fund, Excelsior College, Albany, New York—need-based annual scholarship for women and/or minorities.