From Plumbers to Architects in the Small College Environment

Thursday, October 28 | 4:00PM–4:45PM ET | 201AB, 200 Level
Viewing Location: Philadelphia
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Presentation/Panel Session
This session will be recorded for later viewing
We speak often of the need for IT leaders to be architects of strategy and planning. Our work and vision should be focused on the bigger picture while also connecting to the institutional goals. However, many IT leaders at smaller institutions get pulled into dealing with everyday tactical needs rather than strategy. This is often referred to as being an “architect rather than a plumber.” The “great pivot” of 2020 created unprecedented stress on this need, as the initial move required numerous tactical changes, frequently at the expense of strategic planning. Even in the best of situations, there was a rapid tactical focus on long-standing strategic projects. Furthermore, smaller institutions face the ongoing challenge that all IT leadership, whether it’s the CIO or director level, are involved in the tactical at some level. Come to this session to learn how one focuses on the high-level strategic while also keeping an eye on the daily tactical from a leadership perspective at a smaller institution.


  • Allan Chen

    VP-IT/CTO, California Institute of the Arts
  • Penny Evans-Plants

    Chief Information Officer, Berry College
  • Carrie Rampp

    Vice President & CIO, Franklin & Marshall College