2014 Leadership Award Recipient

Gordon Wishon
Gordon Wishon

Chief Information Officer
Arizona State University

For leadership in constant improvement of higher education and supporting technologies, for visionary advocacy of best practices and leading governance for the management of technology services, for collaboratively sharing his deep understanding of higher education issues, for overall excellent leadership in the profession

As Arizona State University's CIO, Gordon Wishon has been responsible for leading initiatives that leverage technology to increase student success, enrich the student experience, drive engagement, and improve services to all constituents. He led the modernization of the infrastructure, pushing forward innovative mobile application experiences for students and faculty, and oversaw large enterprise system deployments and upgrades (PeopleSoft) for the university. He is incorporating a culture of risk management and security awareness to safeguard the university and its assets. In addition, he introduced a project and portfolio management office to promote and improve the effective delivery of IT development and services.

Gordon has a deep understanding of the university's mission and the importance of information technology as a means to achieving that mission, and his expertise extends beyond his involvement at ASU. He is actively working with other Arizona institutions on a statewide/regional optical research and education network, participating in governmental and state agency committees and supporting and endorsing Internet2. He has been instrumental in positioning ASU as a leading partner in the Internet2 100/Gbps Innovation Platform and other Internet2 Net+ services. Meanwhile, he participates on Oracle, Dell, Sprint, and other advisory boards.

Prior to joining Arizona State University, Gordon served as associate vice president/associate provost and CIO at the University of Notre Dame. His primary executive responsibilities were focused on planning, implementation, operation, and support of campus-wide IT infrastructure that served teaching, learning, and research. During his nine-year tenure at Notre Dame, Gordon led numerous developments and changes at the Office of Information Technologies, including a successful, comprehensive technology refreshment program for the university's academic and administrative computing environments and the creation of the Center for Research Computing. During this time, he led the establishment of the St. Joseph Valley Metronet and chaired its board of directors. He also served as co-PI on an NSF-funded effort to establish the Northwest Indiana Computational Grid.

Before his appointment at Notre Dame, Gordon served as the associate vice president and associate vice provost for information technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In this position he served as the senior campus executive responsible for strategic policy development, implementation, and operational support of IT needs of the academic, research, and administrative communities at Georgia Tech, one of the nation's premier research universities. In addition to coordinating efforts to prepare the campus technology infrastructure to support the 1996 Olympic Games, he was active in the Southeastern Universities Research Association, serving as a member of the SURA Board of Trustees and as the first chair of its Information Technology Council.

Gordon has been recognized by CIO, Computerworld, and Information Week magazines for his leadership and technology expertise. Before Gordon's career in higher education, he was a member of the U.S. Air Force and, at the time of his retirement, was the director of communications and computer systems at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Earlier in his career, he flew F-111 fighter aircraft and participated in the development of the first generation of on-board embedded computer systems in USAF fighter aircraft.

Gordon has served the EDUCAUSE community since 1998. He co-founded and chaired the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Security Task Force (now HEISC) and served as a faculty member for the EDUCAUSE Leadership Institute and the Hawkins Leadership Roundtable. Gordon has presented as a subject matter expert with the EDUCAUSE community, producing and presenting 15 seminars, webinars, and annual and regional conferences in his 15 years of supporting the EDUCAUSE community.

Throughout his career, he has been an innovator and advocate for information technology in higher education. From the Air Force to ASU, Gordon has been—and is—a leader who values the importance of technology, the access it provides to students and faculty for research, and the disruptive and necessary roles IT plays in higher education. Most importantly, Gordon created the conditions for the people in the organizations he led to succeed, to become professionals and leaders in their own right.

This EDUCAUSE Award is sponsored by Moran Technology Consulting, Silver Partner.