A mentoring program headed by a member of Fordham’s Information Technology (IT) department is helping develop leadership skills for emerging IT leaders at Jesuit institutions of higher learning in the United States.
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Conference on Information Technology Management (CITM) Mentoring Program matches about 30 mentees and mentors from 26 of the member colleges and universities.
The upcoming wave of graduates from the program, which was begun in 2006, will receive certificates of recognition in April when the 25th annual CITM is held on the Rose Hill campus.
Now beginning its third year, the mentoring program, which is chaired by Jason Benedict, executive director of Fordham’s information security office, matches prospective IT leaders at one AJCU school with CIOs and established professionals from another AJCU school. The basis for intra-institutional matching, said Benedict, is to offer mentors and mentees new networking opportunities and a new perspective on IT administration—all within the family of Jesuit higher education.
“Internally, it is sometimes difficult for CIOs and even executive directors to mentor their own employees,” Benedict said. “Our aim with the program is to foster relationships between IT professionals that provide a fresh perspective toward meeting the challenges that are unique to higher education and IT in particular.”
“This is more about leadership and the life of a manager in higher ed than it is about technology and IT functions,” he added. “We don’t have operational conversations on problems installing software.”
The program accepts applications by nomination every June. A program description and application procedures are available on the AJCU website.
“The program is a good builder of professional relationships,” Benedict said. “Our mentees can continue to access their mentors . . . throughout their careers.”