An eighteen month transformation of Flinders University’s ICT platform placing it at the forefront of higher education institutions worldwide has been recognised with the prestigious iAwards CIO of the Year accolade being awarded to the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Information Services) and Chief Information Officer, Professor Richard Constantine.
The national award – which has invariably been received by CIOs in large corporations and governments in the past – was announced at an iAwards gala dinner in Melbourne co-hosted by the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Information Industry Association, and the Pearcey Foundation, on Friday (August 29) night.
Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber, congratulated Professor Constantine for his vision and leadership of the ‘Connecting Flinders‘ project which includes high performance wireless connections, advanced online teaching and research capability, enhanced video conferencing, and stronger social media collaboration.
“Professor Constantine has a unique insight into the capability of existing technologies and their applicability to a higher education setting and a strong sense of what is required to position Flinders for the potential of the technologies that we will see in coming years,” Professor Barber said.
“In his strategic application of these technologies, Professor Constantine has not only produced a system that is very attractive to, and meets the needs of, students, staff and researchers but has also delivered an effective, integrated ICT solution for the University,” he said.
“Flinders is currently rolling out a $14 million, state-of-the-art wireless network in collaboration with Cisco, described by the Vice-President of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, Mr Ken Boal, as ‘a global showcase for the digital transformation of higher education’.
“Flinders University will use this new foundation to support its teaching and research aspirations in such emerging areas as cyber security and remote health.”
Professor Constantine said the Award “provides validation by our industry that the Vice-Chancellors’ vision for developing a highly agile, student and staff focused, highly skilled ICT team at Flinders is beginning to gain valuable recognition”.
“The Connecting Flinders project lays out the foundation for what’s to come. We will be developing solutions that will significantly improve and enable the next generation of teaching, learning and research delivery both on and off campus. We want to ensure, for example, that all our students, regardless of physical presence, will have an excellent learning and service experience,” Professor Constantine said.
“Today’s ICT professional has to get out of the ‘back room’, understand all areas of the business they operate in and work tirelessly looking for opportunities to enhance their and their teams’ value proposition. Because ICT operates across all parts of an organisation, ICT professionals are well placed to provide comprehensive transformation to enhance an organisation’s effectiveness and efficiency. It’s time to step up,” he said.
Mr Marty Gauvin, Managing Director of Tier 5 and a member of Flinders University Council, said “the iAwards CIO of the Year Award is extremely prestigious and normally goes to CIOs of very large public companies or governments”.
“This is the first time that this Award has gone to a university and is a testament to the efforts of Richard Constantine and his team to create something beyond what is normally done at universities,” Mr Gauvin said.
Professor Constantine joined Flinders University from Swinburne University of Technology, where he was CIO, in October 2011.