Davis to step down as CIO

Jim Davis, vice provost and chief information officer since 2004, has announced plans to step down next year from his position leading Iowa State's information technology programs.

Davis, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, plans a return to the classroom for the fall 2015 semester to share his IT and management experience with students and to perform research in applications using next-generation (GENI) networks.



"Jim is a strong leader who has worked with colleges and units to transform IT on campus," said senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert. "He's done it by assembling a talented, professional team and creating a culture that always keeps the best interest of the university in mind."

Among his many accomplishments as CIO, Davis:

  • Managed ITS through a period of rapidly changing technology and explosive growth
  • Centralized academic and business computing under one organization
  • Partnered with the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin and University of Iowa to build the BOREAS regional research and education fiber optic network that connects ISU to worldwide broadband networks in Chicago and Kansas City
  • Expanded Iowa State's Wi-Fi capabilities to better serve students, faculty and staff
  • Enabled high-performance computing for faculty, including "Cyence," Iowa State's most powerful computer ever
  • Implemented numerous IT efficiency initiatives that continue to generate financial savings for the university

Wickert notes that Davis' impact also is felt outside of campus.

"Jim has led Iowa State's engagement in several regional and national IT initiatives, raising the profile of the university and helping us recruit top talent," he said.

When Davis first was appointed CIO in 2004, the iPhone was still three years away and wireless networking was seen as a "bonus" and not essential. Today, Iowa State boasts multiple high-performance computing clusters, an Internet-based phone system, growing numbers of online courses and more than 100,000 devices connected to the university's network on any given day.

"It has been an honor to serve the university as CIO, and I have been blessed with a great team of colleagues," Davis said. "ITS has a bright future, but with several big projects on the horizon, I believe this is an appropriate time for a change in leadership.

"The position of CIO at Iowa State is a great job, and I look forward to helping the university hire a top-notch candidate who can build on our success."

Davis earned a bachelor's degree in computer science, a master's degree in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in computer science, all from Iowa State, and joined the faculty in 1984. An expert in computer security, he served as associate chair of electrical and computer engineering 2001-03 and interim chair in 2003.

The provost's office will launch a national search for Davis' successor in the coming months.