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State University System Names New Chief Information Officer

The veteran tech leader, who has professional roots in Minnesota, brings a deep background as an innovator and advocate in education technology.

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California State University has appointed a new chief information officer to oversee technology for the system’s 23 campuses, 450,000 students and more than 50,000 faculty members.

Ed Clark, a veteran of higher ed tech, most recently served as vice president, CIO and chief digital officer for the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota’s largest private college. In that role, according to his LinkedIn profile, Clark’s portfolio included IT, IT security, instructional technology, institutional research and university registrar functions.
Ed Clark.
Ed Clark

“I am thrilled to join the California State University system in service of its many students and campuses,” Clark said in an email Thursday to Industry Insider California. “I hope to take all that I have learned in my technology leadership career and partner with the 23 campuses and the system office of CSU to help create new best practices in higher education, particularly in utilizing technology to promote student and faculty success.”

CSU leadership is pleased with the selection of Clark to lead the system’s technology initiatives.

“Dr. Clark brings a deep understanding of the ways in which technology can improve teaching, learning and research and lead to greater achievement for students,” CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea said in a news release.

Before his most recent role with St. Thomas, Clark was CIO for Minnesota State University at Mankato, the largest public university in the Minnesota State University (MSU) system, “where he worked and advocated for student and faculty success,” the CSU news release says. He had also served as CIO for the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts.

“In these positions, Dr. Clark was responsible for all aspects of technology, from teaching and learning technologies to research support, infrastructure and administrative computing services, and has led many strategic initiatives for these institutions,” the CSU statement said.

Clark told Industry Insider that he’ll be moving from Minneapolis to the Long Beach area, a short drive from the CSU System offices.

The new CIO was not only an advocate and leader in Minnesota’s institutions of higher education; he’s also an alumnus. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Florida State University, Clark earned his Master of Science degree in management of technology from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in education leadership from Minnesota State University at Mankato.

Clark also has numerous professional credentials and affiliations, including as a Project Management Professional (PMP), certification as a SAFe5 Agilist, as a presenter and review author and advisory committee member for EDUCAUSE, and an advisory board member for the Twin Cities CIO Leadership Association.

Clark succeeds Michael Berman, a veteran ed-tech executive who retired in June after almost six years in top IT leadership at CSU, first as chief innovation officer and deputy CIO, then as CIO. Berman, who had served more than 20 years in various ed-tech leadership positions, has gone into consulting while pursuing a music career. (Berman was featured in an Industry Insider “One-on-One” interview in July 2020.)

In May, shortly before retiring from CSU, Berman and Ed Hudson, CSU’s chief information security officer, made a road trip to all 23 CSU campuses in three days.
Dennis Noone is Executive Editor of Industry Insider. He is a career journalist, having worked as a reporter and editor at small-town newspapers and major metropolitan dailies in California, Nevada, Texas and Virginia, including as an editor with USA Today in Washington, D.C. He lives in Northern California.