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About | Mark A. Staples

About Mark

Charleston, SC
Personal email:
Professional email:

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.”

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.


  • EdD. 2015

    Education, Organizational Leadership and Communications

    Northeastern University

  • MBA 2001

    Organizational Leadership (MIS Minor)

    University of Findlay

  • BS 1981

    Human Relations (Business Management Minor)

    University of Toledo


  • 2012
    Excellence/Innovation Award | Northeastern University
    Northeastern University
  • 2012
    Voted Favorite Professor | Northeastern University
    Northeastern University
  • 2011
    Innovation Award | Northeastern University
    Northeastern University
  • 2002
    Customer Service Award | Medical University of Ohio
    Medical University of Ohio
  • 2000
    Customer Service Award | Medical University of Ohio
    Medical University of Ohio
  • 1994
    Technology Award | Indiana University
    Indiana University

Additional Information

Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is different than management and at times can be mutually exclusive. Leaders find ways to inspire and motivate others to accomplish a common goal. While managers establish metrics and operations to reach this goal. My style of leadership is greatly influenced by my core values, as well as my assumptions and beliefs. To be an affective leader, I must learn from those around me (peers, superiors, and subordinates) and adapt my leadership style, as necessary, in consideration to the diverse personalities and evolving situations – commonly referred to as “situational leadership.” Effective leaders possess many positive traits that forms and defines their leadership style and philosophy. The following leadership principals are important to me.

  • To be a leader, a person must have good integrity and be transparent;
  • An effective leader should be empathetic;
  • A good leader is consistent, dependable and reliable with a strong sense of justice;
  • A leader must be able to articulate their thoughts both verbally and in writing;
  • Successful leaders understand how their world view impacts their decision making and place value and utilize on different perspectives in order to make better decisions;
  • A good leader is willing go the extra mile on behalf of the team;
  • An effective leader is a life-long learner;
  • A good leader should have a sense of service;
  • A good leader has a strong sense of their emotional intelligence – a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

Career Objectives

  • Serve as the information technology leader in a dynamic academic institution where innovation and effectiveness are valued.
  • Provide leadership in developing the vision and strategy in the areas of pedagogy, research and electronic information delivery.
  • Participate with a team of leaders to integrate technology, where appropriate, in the areas of teaching, learning, and research.
  • Be an agent to align business objectives with technology.


  • 26 years of IT leadership at 6 higher educational institutions in 3 US regions
  • Strategic Planning and Business Alignment Experience
  • IT Governance Experience
  • Service focused
  • Excellent communicator
  • Builds alliances with faculty and academic units
  • Champion for creative uses of technology
  • Balanced approach between service and security
  • ERP implementation and operational experience
  • Successful implementation of enterprise teaching/learning technologies
  • Experience with technologies that support research
  • Enterprise health care system implementation and management
  • Effective use of outsourcing in order to redirect staff resources to support core initiatives
  • Experience in high-availability delivery of network and systems


  • 26 years of higher education experience;
  • Strong academic background;
  • Strategic planning;
  • Communication development;
  • Service focused;
  • Highly collaborative team builder;
  • Effective communicator;
  • Insightful problem solver who drives technology innovations that position organizations for operational excellence;
  • Visionary and strategist;
  • Change agent who develops and executes solutions to reduce costs and improve operations;
  • Proactively strives to achieve maximum return with minimum resources;
  • Directed nearly every aspect of information technology;
  • Dynamic and passion that creates energy and vision;
  • Track record for repairing business unit relationships and instilling trust in the solutions, services, & support of the IT division;
  • Good translator between the academic community and IT;
  • Understands the ebbs and flows as well as project scope changes;
  • Experience in providing technology solutions for delivering online courses; both fully online and hybrid;
  • Directed a staff of instructional designers;
  • Directed a highly available and redundant IT organization (i.e. network, data center, and system administration);
  • Experience in organizational management – mapping the organizational workload to institutional priorities – including assessing service cost of ownership to ensure that the institution is getting the best value for its investment.

Favorite Quotes

“If technology is not transformative, it’s in the way.”
Mark Staples

“If we are afraid to fail, then we’ll be afraid to try. If we don’t try, we can never know success.”
Mark Staples

“Those who turn good (organizations) into great (organizations) are motivated by a deep creative urge and an inner compulsion for sheer unadulterated excellence for its own sake.”
Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great”

“Dissent and debate are the only way to improve and drive innovation. If we surround ourselves with people that agree with us, the result is stagnation.”
Mark Staples

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

“You will never make up in tactics that what you lack in strategy.”

“It’s not my job to have all the answers, but it is my job to ask lots of penetrating, disturbing, and occasionally almost offensive questions as part of the analytic process that leads to insight and refinement.”
Gary Loveman

“People who can focus, get things done. People who can prioritize, get the right things done.”

“You can never plan the future by the past.”
Edmund Burke