Mark Allen Staples


Dr. Mark A. Staples


"In order for technology to be considered transformative,

Career Highlights

Sr. VP and CIO

33 Years IT Leadership

Boston CIO of the Year Finalist – 2016

About Mark

Dr. Mark A. Staples is Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the College of Charleston. As part of the President’s Cabinet, he is responsible for technologies across the institution, including but not limited to teaching and learning, digital marketing, and physical security. In his first year, he led the process for establishing a fresh IT Mission and Strategy—“Transforming the College into a digital workplace leading to a digitally literate campus.”

Mark A. Staples

Prior to prior to his appointment at CofC, he spent four-years at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer, reporting directly to the president and serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet. He was responsible for IT Strategy, infrastructure services, administrative systems, and technologies and practices influencing teaching and learning. Mark also provided leadership in the areas of digital marketing, student recruitment and retention, institutional analytics, alumni affairs, and institutional advancement, leveraging his 30 years of experience in higher education. In 2015 and 2016, he served as the founder and co-chair of the Education Roundtable for the Boston chapter of the Society of Information Management. In 2015 he was nominated for Boston CIO of the Year in non-profit sector and in 2016 he finished as a finalist among 70 other CIOs.

Prior to his appointment at Wentworth, Mark was Director of Academic and Research Technologies across all nine colleges for Northeastern University, where he was responsible for the delivery and support of all teaching, learning, and research technologies on all campuses. Mark was awarded the Excellence/Innovation Award by his peers in 2012. Before his time at Northeastern, Mark served as Chief Information Security Officer at Georgia Health Sciences University, Director of Infrastructure Services and Client Support at Medical University of Ohio, and was part of various IT organizations at the University of Toledo and Indiana University (IU) for over 10 years. Between 2009 and 2012, Mark also served as co-chair of biomedical consortium that included Harvard Medical, UMass, Tufts University, MIT, and several biomedical labs throughout the commonwealth.

Mark’s previous service included leadership in a consortium of research universities in the University System of Georgia. He also provided leadership in a collaborative to support disaster recovery and business continuity support between the five research universities in the University System of Georgia. Mark has also influenced new software licensing strategies with major vendors, the use of collaboration and crowdsourcing tools, and has been involved in cybersecurity initiatives with the Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC).

He is an adjunct faculty member in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University teaching both in the classroom for the undergraduate MIS program and online for the executive MBA program. He was voted Favorite Professor in 2012.

More than just a technology leader, Mark is a thought leader in the business of higher education. His ability to converge technology into the business of higher education creates a transformative impact on both revenue and operational efficiencies. Mark has also established a reputation for bridging the gap between technology and the rest of the institution, fostering a culture in which technology is thoroughly integrated with every aspect of the institutional mission, reinforcing rather than complicating institutional objectives.

Mark’s contributions to the field through publications and presentations span a broad range of topics including IT culture and leadership, the impact of social media on knowledge management and communities of practice, organizational change and design, mobile technology, effective budgeting in higher education, and the digital revolution’s impact on the teaching and learning mission of higher education. Mark’s doctoral research investigates the sustainability of higher education given the rapidly changing technological landscape, highlighting where technology has failed to live up to its potential and identifying the necessary cultural and fiscal steps required for a transformative use of technology in an educational context — becoming a digital university.

Mark was also a member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Toledo Alumni Association, serving on the Communications and Outreach subcommittees.

Away from work, Mark has been a radio personality, the producer of a weekly syndicated television program, and has owned and operated a recording studio, producing and engineering music and voiceover production. Mark has also been a concert and music festival promoter and spent several years as a college and high school sports official for football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball.

This is his blogging and professional website to provide thoughts and analysis on how technology is impacting higher education.

Academic Positions

College of Charleston

Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer
College of Charleston

2016 – Present

Vice President of Technology Services and Chief Information Officer
Wentworth Institute of Technology

2012 – 2016
Northeastern University

Director, Academic Technology Services
Northeastern University

2008 – 2012
Georgia Health Sciences University

Director of Research & Instructional Technology Support
Georgia Health Sciences University (Now Augusta University)

2003 – 2008



  • Established digital workplace through innovative process engineering and effective use of contemporary technologies;
  • Established effective digital communications strategies and solutions through personalization;
  • Created data driven architecture;
  • Through organizational development methodologies, creates a culture of innovation and creativity not only in IT, but throughout the institution;
  • Improve stakeholder satisfaction by reviewing organizational structure, processes, and communications strategies;
  • Improve institutional IT security profile, reducing risk while supporting academic needs;
  • Establish effective mobile IT profile — access to information and services any where, any time, on any device.
  • Established online, hybrid, and blended strategies and platforms;

Other Accomplishments

  • Infrastructure enhancements to ensure stability, accessibility, capacity, and security of network resources, systems, data, and communications modalities;
  • Identity Management solutions with improved overall customer satisfaction and improved security;
  • Effective use of teaching/learning IT tools to foster innovation and active learning;
  • Digital Communications Ecosystem;
  • Academic Ecosystem;
  • Marketing automation solutions;
  • Information security architecture and security awareness program
  • Enterprise Systems
    • Student Information Systems (Banner & PeopleSoft)
    • Learning Management Systems
    • Enterprise Resource Planning (HR, finance, payroll, time & attendance, & recruiting)
    • Research Administration Systems;
    • Clinical research systems;
    • Clinical technologies for both clinical and teaching activities.
  • Data Analytics
    • Student recruitment – predictive modeling
    • Retention & early warning
    • learning analytics
    • Administrative and academic dashboards
    • Data warehouse implementation
  • University of Toledo Alumni Association Board of Trustees member (2013-2015)
  • Chair Instrutional Technology Group at Northeastern (2009-Current)
  • Member IS Academic Advisory Committee (2009-Current)
  • Member of the Blackboard Mobile Strategies Committee (Current);
  • Member Boston Chapter of the Society for Information Management (SIM) (Current)
  • Chair Education Roundtable for Boston SIM
  • Member of Educause Policy and Law Sub-Committee (2004-2007)
  • Member of the Southern Light Rail (SLR) committee (2004-2008)
  • Member of planning team of AAMC GIR conference (2008)
  • Chair, Apple Support Advisory Council (Midwest Region) representing Indiana Univesity
    • Apple Computer, Inc. (1990-1992). The committee was comprised of 6 major universities, 2 major corporate customers, and 2 major K-12 customers
  • Member Audio Engineering Society (AES) (Current)


  • Established Project Management Office
  • Completed Voice-Over-IP initiative and decommissioning of legacy phone system
  • Implemented web conferencing
  • Established 4-year refresh for network and classroom equipment
  • Implemented authorized guest access for wireless to improve security
  • Implemented centralized scholars management system

Current Projects
Coming Soon


  • Established Project Management Office
  • Established Information Security Office
  • Completed Unified Messaging initiative and decommissioning of legacy phone system
  • Established disaster recovery and business continuity offsite solution
  • Implemented lecture capture and active learning system
  • Implemented classroom response system
  • Implemented web conferencing
  • Implemented data digitization operation for enrollment management, registrar, and finance
  • Implemented electronic student transcript request system
  • Migrated and upgraded CRM for Institutional Advancement/Alumni Relations
  • Upgraded Performance Management and Recruting tool
  • Implemented video storage and delivery system
  • Implemented online training systems
  • Implemented web digital asset management system
  • Implemented institutional room and resource scheduling system
  • Established 4-year refresh for network and classroom equipment
  • Implemented authorized guest access for wireless to improve security
  • Implemented Financial Aid system
  • Implemented Contact and Recording system for Public Safety
  • Implemented mobile access to tools for Public Safety
  • Designed and implemented system to capture student emergency contact and local address information each semester
  • Expanded Media Services and Video Production operation
  • Established video streaming operation for institutional events
  • Implemented federated ID management system

Current Projects

  • Sponsor and champion for the following:
    • Student Retention system (fall 2014)
    • Faculty Advising (fall 2014)
    • Business Intelligence and Analytics solution (summer 2014)
    • Student Recuitment system (fall 2014)
  • Redesign of institutions web environment (fall 2014)
  • Digital communications improvements and enhancements (fall 2014)
  • Centralized institutional calendar (fall 2014)
  • Implement new student portal (fall 2014)
  • Board of Trustees online and mobile solution (fall 2014)
  • Migrate MS Exchange to Faculty/staff Office 365 (spring 2015)
  • Implement federated wireless network for multi-institution access (summer 2014)
  • Implement updated ID card access system (fall 2014)
  • Collaboration and Crowd Sourcing solutions (fall 2015)
  • Update ID Management system to include federation of external accounts (fall 2015)


  • Led Digital Media Commons initiative—integrating library, instructional design, and IT resources
  • Led the institutional mobile technology initiative
  • Led the Coeus Research Administration Tool implementation for grant proposal development and award management;
  • Led the digital content distribution project;
  • Led the online/electronic, in-class, testing initiative;
  • Led chemical inventory implementation operation;
  • Led implementation of university wide lecture capture solution
  • Led the use of tablet technologies (e.g. iPad) in the Colleges of Business & Health Sciences
  • Led implementation of university wide web conferencing solution
  • Led the effort for improving technology for teaching and learning outcomes;
  • Led Learning Management System expansion;
  • Led the implementation of an Academic Portal to improve support instructional and research communities;
  • Partnered with Marketing and Communications on an institutional plan for improving communications;
  • Co-Led the Communications Project to improving communications to our customers;
  • Co-led research reporting initiative;


  • Built a technical foundation for proper/efficient classroom technology launch and driving technology improvements to allow faculty to create electronic learning tools.
  • Created strategic partnerships with university libraries, united disparate IT units throughout campus and forged collaboration with other institutions;
  • Led Blackboard 9.1 upgrade and enhancements;
  • Led the implementation of MEDITECH, electronic medical record, for the College of Health Sciences so that students can experience an EMR in the classroom and labs;
  • Responsible for negotiations, licensing, and procurement of all software;
  • Lead technology consultant for all non-enterprise inititiatives for the campus;
  • Provided leadership and support to online programs for the College of Business and Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Research & Instructional Technology Support

  • Established a customer-focused support strategy to build a strong research and instruction infrastructure of computing resources and services. This would include being a faculty and student advocate back to the division;
  • Negotiated Service Level Agreements where appropriate internally, and contracts with internal and external agencies and vendors;
  • Developed and implemented a marketing plan to increase visibility of the services offered;
  • Lead the strategic planning efforts for technology support for teaching, learning, and research by developing short- and long-term plans aligned with the mission and priorities of the university;
  • Established key partnership with the university libraries;
  • Led the effort to implement a Cancer Research tool – Oncore;
  • Laid the foundation for mobile technology adoption;
  • Established and chaired Instructional Advisory Committees – comprising of faculty leadership – for each college;
  • Established the process for efficient review of institutional software and hardware purchases;
  • Designed data warehouse and transactional system integration to support research;
  • Led the effort to implement a virtual microscopy system – Aperio;
  • Technical advisor for Tissue Bank – Tissue Metrix;
  • Led the effort to deploy digital signage throughout campus;
  • Led the evaluation and selection of a practice plan system for Nursing and Allied Health;
  • Led the effort to build a comprehensive collaboration environment (Wiki, Blog, Forum);
  • Led the evaluation and selection of a new lecture capture system;
  • Led the effort to establish electronic content delivery – streaming/podcasting;
  • Led the effort for evaluating, selection, and implementation of a web conferencing system;
  • Led the effort to establish and implement an electronic training and orientation system for the entire campus.
  • Participated in the selection and implementation of a knowledge management software – Collexis;
  • Led the effort in identifying e-lab notebooks for investigators;
  • Technical lead of the CTSA Grant submission with University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, and MCG;
  • Participated in the Clinical Translational Science Award planning committee and assisted in writing the bioinformatics section of the grant application.

Chief Information Security Officer

  • Established and chaired Computer Incident Advisory Council of senior university executives to handle response and communications for technology incidents;
  • Developed institutional policies and procedures concerning system security and user operations to ensure system and data integrity and adheres to institutional information system standards;
  • Led the efforts for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity;
  • Performed IT risk assessments;
  • Established a successful security awareness program with faculty, staff, and students;
  • Provided security consultation as a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB);
  • Provided leadership and developed policy for document retention and archival;
  • Co-designed all HIPAA compliance related training;
  • Established IT strategies and standards;
  • Improved system up-time, client satisfaction, response time, productivity and performance;
  • Led an effort to share IT resources (i.e. Data Centers) between R1 research institutions for DR/BC;
  • Increased productivity and performance, streamlined support, reduced overall costs and improved security;
  • Led 3-year, “technology refresh” initiative; saved $235K+ by leveraging volume purchase and lease option;
  • Implemented 1st inventory tracking program for 6K+ IT devices, significantly reducing equipment costs;
  • Eliminated daily system interruptions for 24×7 operation; increased uptime to 98%+.
  • Improved customer satisfaction rating from 80% to 92% by expanding support, operations and training;
  • Designed and implemented integrated network monitoring system to automatically detect and resolve IT issues;
  • Centralized technology acquisition process, reducing costs and standardizing equipment, platforms and applications;
  • Co-coordinator for comprehensive disaster recovery plan implementation;
  • Led project to implement a GRID computing environment for biomedical research;
  • Introduced state-of-the-art wireless environment for key departments; accelerated information sharing and enhanced organization’s ability to recruit and retain top talent.
  • Key role in positioning organization as one of premier institutions in US for leading-edge technology initiatives.
  • Consultant to executive management on IT programs to reduce costs and improve processes; provided technical support and training to faculty and staff.
  • Supported and maintained Novell NetWare servers.
  • Chaired committee to research feasibility of joint initiative between the university libraries and Indiana University information systems to create center for humanities computing (Library Electronic Text Resource Service).
  • Lead technical advisor for executive systems upgrade project; defined needs, deployed equipment and trained users.


Work Experience

Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Vice President of Technology Services and Chief Information Officer

Reporting the President and a member of the President’s Advisory Council (Cabinet).
Responsible for strategic planning, implementation, and support of all technologies throughout the institution.

Director, Academic Technology Services

(December 2008-August 2012)

Major Responsibilities

  • The principal IS partner with the academic community.
  • Work with Northeastern’s research centers and research intensive faculty to ensure that their IT needs are met:
    • including core services such as networking and software delivery
    • specialized services such as high performance computing and storage
    • and individual services such as hosting and database administration assistance.
  • Provide project management support for all research and instructional technologies to colleges, programs, labs, and faculty.

Leadership role includes:

  • Responsible for assuring the information technology dependencies within the Northeastern Academic Initiative are met.
  • With academic, administrative, and IT leaders within the academic units, develop a blended academic IT service catalog.
  • Oversee the software licensing, budget, and management function for the university as a whole.
  • Expand on services of anytime/anywhere computing services for students & faculty.
  • With the Vice President and other members of the senior IS Leadership Team, establishing a university-wide IS Community Advisory Committee and the Northeastern IS Strategic planning

Instructional/Learning role includes:

  • Work with academic units involved in teaching and learning initiatives
  • Develop institutional wide solutions for delivery of online education, e-portfolios, assessment, and experiential learning.
  • Expand the use of the learning management system.
  • Initiate tools that expand the electronic delivery of instructional content.
  • Unify the diverse instructional technology community

Research role includes:

  • Expand IS research enablement capabilities, service offerings, and staff
  • Develop and implement, in conjunction with the Office of the Provost and others, an IS research support free/fee costing model.
  • Engagement in national and worldwide Cyber-infrasIructure and other high performance/grid computing projects and with governmental agencies
  • Work closely with the university’s sponsored grants department toward greater information technology infrastructure efficiency and administrative support.

Adjunct Faculty – Teaching Management of Information Systems in the College of Business Administration

Reason for Leaving: Recruited by Northeastern University

Director of Research & Instructional Technology Support – Administrative Faculty Position

(August 2007-November 2008)


  • Provide oversight of the university’s selection and implementation of research & instructional technologies used by faculty, research community, and students.
  • Responsible for all technology purchases and contract review and negotiation.

Instruction Technology Support

  • Provide strategic leadership identifying and supporting the progressive uses of technology, interactive tools and classroom upgrades that can increase faculty instructional effectiveness and efficiency as well as assist in the educational assessment processes;
  • Develop partnerships with faculty, serving as consultant and colleague on special projects and programs;
  • Provide leadership in the effort to identify classroom facility support including upgrades, renovations, and construction;
  • Provide oversight and lead faculty support for course development using innovative tools and progressive techniques;
  • Provide leadership in the the coordination, design and implementation of Faculty Development workshops and programs related to use of educational technology; promote and facilitate the creation, sharing, and cross-departmental use of reusable learning objects to advance the instructional delivery of our academic programs;
  • Supervise the planning and development of instructional materials and program content with faculty, including computerized programs and web-based courses for use in health care education;

Research Technology Support

  • Developed IT component for research grants involving IT resources
  • Responsible for policy development related to technology support & services
  • Provided leadership for and directed/managed the technical and support needs for Research Computing including:
    • provided leadership for the communication between the research community and interested commercial product and service providers, Board of Regents, SURA, SLR/NLR liaisons and others in order to leverage available cost reductions based on architecture and infrastructure standards and best practices
    • Identified data storage/backup service levels for research.
    • Determines bandwidth and network requirements (e.g., SLR/NLR);
    • Coordinated security infrastructure deployments with ITSS security personnel
    • Coordinated with ITSS contracts and licensing regarding contract negotiations for hardware and software in concert with campus architecture and infrastructure standards.
  • Coordinate IT research and development for ITSS including:
    • Worked with CIO/ITSS personnel to determine the technologies that need to be researched and the objectives that the research is expected to accomplish
    • Identified appropriate teams to conduct research and perform due diligence regarding new technologies
    • Assisted teams in the development of action plans to carry out research
    • Monitored progress of teams’ activities to ensure that milestones are being met
    • Reviewed teams’ deliverables to ensure that they are meeting their objectives
    • For those technologies that are deemed to be viable for the University, assisted in creating a plan for developing and incorporating them into IT infrastructure.

Chief Information Security Officer/Director of Information Security

(November, 2003-January 2008)


  • Monitor regulations and laws applicable to an academic medical center and lead implementations of appropriate measures to ensure compliance.
  • Function as the primary liaison with the Office of Legal Affairs and the security management team of the MCG Health, Inc. on security related matters.
  • Responsible for security and incident response
  • Responsible for Security Awareness
  • Perform system audits across the enterprise.
  • Conduct security architectural reviews for technology projects.
  • Responsible for system security planning, developing, and implementing security policies across multiple platforms.
  • Responsible for define security frameworks for existing and new systems.
  • Responsible for provide technical support and consultation for enhancement of and change to network security configuration
  • Assist in establish internal controls to ensure consistent operations

NOTE: After leaving, the university changed its name to Medical University of Ohio. Soon afterward, it became part of the University of Toledo – now called University of Toledo Health Sciences

Reason for Leaving: Recruited by the Medical College of Georgia

Director, Computer & Network Services (1999-2003)

This position was created to facilitate a single title when Network Services was added to my existing responsibilities.

Network Services

  • 24×7 Operation
  • Network
    • Firewall
    • VPN
    • Infrastructure
    • Monitoring/Management
    • Wireless
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Security
  • Server Administration
    • Microsoft (Server, Active Directory, SQL)
    • Novell (NDS, NetWare File and Print Services, Z.E.N.)
    • Email (GroupWise and Exchange)
    • Unix (HP/UX, Linux, RS 6000)
    • Citrix
    • Web Development

Client Services

  • Phone Technicians
  • Workstation Technicians (Windows, Macintosh, Linux)
  • Departmental Consulting Services
  • Hardware Repair (Computer, FAX, Printer, Embosser)
  • End User Training


  • Disaster Recovery
  • Data Center Operations
  • Enterprise Backups
  • Account Administration
  • Remedy Development
  • Desktop Application Development/Maintenance
  • Microsoft Operating System Development
  • Asset Management
    • Technology Refresh
    • Departmental/Individual Moves
    • Macintosh Support
    • Software Licensing

Network Specialist (1998-1999)

Network Administrator, Interim Assistant Director of Network Services/Network Administrator (1997-1998)

Served as interim director to create more cohesive, productive IT group. Devised strategies for training improvements and streamlining customer support.

  • Identified and developed new network infrastructure of 15K IT devices serving 8K faculty/staff and 20K students.

Reason for Leaving: moved to Toledo, Ohio for family reasons

Various Titles
(1987 – 1996)

  • Network Administrator
  • Project Specialist
  • Macintosh Specialist
  • Technical Specialist
  • Help Desk Specialist

Life Experiences

Music Engineer & Producer – 2001-Current
Owner, Recording Studio – 2001-Current
Producer, Weekly Syndicated Television Program – 1992-2001
Weekly Radio Personality – 1991-1999
Newspaper Graphic Designer – 1990’s
Corporate Graphic Designer – 1992-1994
Owner, Video Production Company – 1996-2001
Concert Promoter – 1995-2001
Music Festival Producer/Marketing/Promoter – 1992-2001
Sports Official (1988-1996)
– Football (High School)
– Basketball (High School)
– Volleyball (High School / College)
– Baseball (High School / College)
– Baseball Umpire-in-Chief southern Indiana (1992-1996)

Favorite Quotes


Going Digital—Operating Principles

“If technology is not transformative, it’s in the way.” A few years ago, I was thinking about how many of our technology users have expressed, or better stated complained, that technology is just a necessary evil that has been imposed onto…

Bridging the IT Communications Gap

Blog, General
One of the common struggles IT professionals has is communicating to those we are providing technology to. We often communicate AT them about the things that WE think are important, which is oftentimes out of step with what is and…

Generation of Like

Blog, General
1 Comment
Recently PBS Frontline broadcast a documentary on the role of social media and marketing among teenagers, providing an interesting view into the culture of the junior high and high school age young person as its being driven, manipulated, and influenced…

Contact Information

Personal email: [email protected]
Professional email: [email protected]

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