2017 Leadership Award Recipient

Susan Metros

Susan Metros

Founder and Principal, Metros Consulting, and Retired Deputy CIO/Associate Vice Provost for Technology-Enhanced Learning, University of Southern California

For extraordinary effectiveness and influence in both the theory and practice of information and educational technology in higher education; for groundbreaking leadership in the transformation of technology-enabled learning; for cultivating and inspiring a vision of continuous improvement and impact in higher education and the IT profession

The 2017 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award is given to Susan Metros, former associate vice provost for Information Technology Services and deputy CIO for Technology Enhanced Learning at the University of Southern California (USC), to recognize her wide-ranging and remarkable contributions to leadership in higher education and technology-enabled teaching and learning.

With career experience that spans four decades and myriad roles in higher education, Susan has combined an expansive and highly creative vision with an infectious “can-do” attitude and a keen ability to motivate and energize her staff toward a common purpose. Her transformational leadership has touched on all forms of educational and instructional technology, multimedia, social networking and collaboration, online learning, visual literacy, mobile learning, and more. One colleague remarked that Susan “is one of those rare individuals who possess the skills to imagine what might be possible and the organizational and management prowess to turn such ideas into reality.”

Susan began her career as an academic and quickly advanced into leadership roles at the University of Tennessee, where she established the first BFA and MFA degrees in Computer-Enhanced Visual Design. At the Ohio State University, she conceived and helped launch the Digital Union, an innovative space that served as a testing ground for creative and scholarly activities and for multidisciplinary, experimental projects promoting technology in teaching and learning. At USC, she led teams that reimagined and renovated the university’s 200-plus learning spaces and redesigned the university’s web and mobile presences. She also provided vision and operational expertise and support for developing and delivering technology-enhanced learning, across multiple disciplines, both on campus and online. In the role of interim CIO at the university’s Marshall School of Business, she conducted an important year-long study that resulted in a report and recommendations for “The Future Directions for IT Leadership and Organization.” Finally, serving as associate dean for the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, she helped design the curriculum, plan the program’s makerspace, and directed the creation of a new online master of science degree in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.

With deep academic roots, Susan has held tenured professorships at Michigan State University, the University of Tennessee, and the Ohio State University. At USC, she was appointed to faculty positions in three schools: Art and Design; Education; and Communication and Journalism. She has an impressive list of refereed and invited publications on topics running the gamut from leadership and mentoring to creativity and innovation, to visual and multimedia literacy, to the role of educational technology in transforming higher education. A committed and compassionate educator, she has taught courses on digital literacies and has served as a principal designer on several international award-winning multimedia and web-based projects.

Susan’s many contributions to EDUCAUSE include service on the association’s board of directors and an appointment as dean for the Breakthrough Models Academy, a program to advance next-generation leadership in higher education. She has written widely for EDUCAUSE publications and has presented keynotes and conference sessions at a variety of venues. She was a Frye Leadership Fellow in 2001 and later served as a mentor for others in the program. She has an unwavering commitment to developing leadership abilities in others and has worked to ensure that EDUCAUSE creates new strategies and programming for identifying, cultivating, and mentoring the future generation of IT leaders. In addition to her EDUCAUSE service, she was a board member for the New Media Consortium (NMC) and currently sits on the advisory council for the Colorado State University Global Campus and serves as a senior fellow for the Center for Digital Education.

Susan has embraced leadership from the unique perspective of a seasoned technology professional, experienced designer, and lifelong educator. Her accomplishments in higher education lie at the strategic intersection between the discovery and adoption of new and emerging technologies that support teaching, learning, research, and outreach, and the IT core enterprise. Drawing on her creative vision, problem-solving skills, collaborative work style, and big-hearted enthusiasm to support others in their professional journeys, Susan has made a significant and lasting impact on the higher education IT profession and in the greater higher education community.

The EDUCAUSE Leadership Award recipient receives a $3,000 contribution to the fund of their choice. A contribution in Susan’s name will be made to the Joe and Shirley Kuszai Endowed Scholarship at Michigan State University.

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