For his significant lifetime accomplishments in the field of information technology, Dr. Frank Sirianni, Fordham University’s Chief Information Officer and Vice President, will be inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame. He is one of 85 outstanding leaders to receive this honor since 1997, when it was first created.
During his 40-year career, Dr. Sirianni has consistently demonstrated his fluency as a manager, overseer, integrator, promoter, leader, and visionary. Add versatility and flexibility to the mix, and the reasons for Dr. Sirianni’s success in the role of CIO are quite clear. The criteria for becoming a CIO Hall of Fame inductee are substantial:
- Significant accomplishments in the field of information technology
- Demonstrable business impact within one or more organizations
- Respected industry status or renown (e.g., introducing a new technology or standard that gains widespread adoption)
- Influence on the IT profession and/or advancement of the CIO role
- Acknowledged leadership among peers and/or outside entities such as the media or industry experts
Much of Dr. Sirianni’s career has been built on transforming the application of technology in higher education institutions. A key component to his approach has always been the ongoing professional development of his staff. Dr. Sirianni has also been instrumental in defining the role of the CIO, providing thought leadership to shepherd the profession through many significant changes for almost three decades.
Dr. Sirianni’s career highlights
Well before many of his peers, Dr. Sirianni grasped that higher education institutions, like corporations and the government, needed to move toward digitizing their data and services. He ushered Ramapo College from a paper-based system for data collection to digital methods; the basis of the system is still in use today at the college. Here he also began his career-long commitment to support professional and personal development for staff, ensuring both a continuity of up-to-date services and a methodology for people to change as the IT landscape evolved.
Working as a principal for The Robinson Group, Dr. Sirianni developed ways to deliver functional solutions to support the nascent technology used for online learning. In part, his solution relied on the establishment of key working relationships with major external partners and institutional leaders; these connections have deepened and traveled with him throughout his career.
Dr. Sirianni finished out the decade as St. John’s University’s Vice President for Strategic Planning and New Business Initiatives/CIO. He conceived and oversaw the establishment of a global technology center in Rome, Italy, thus enabling St. John’s to a gain footprint in the European and Asian education markets. He also built higher education’s first true help desk, marketing, and sales center at St. John’s. The center created a competitive advantage for the school that increased its net revenue and constituent satisfaction. Under Dr. Sirianni’s leadership, St. John’s was listed in 1998 as one of the universities in Information Week‘s Top 100 for Use of Intranet Technology. Also in 1998, Yahoo! named St. John’s the 35th most wired campus in America.
By 2001, Dr. Sirianni had left St. John’s to become New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology’s first VP/CIO. He reinvigorated the school’s curriculum with the introduction of state-of-the-art technology services. He also helped FIT establish its first governance model, which allowed the school to allocate resources strategically, reduce unnecessary costs, and fully integrate technology efforts with the school’s strategic initiatives.
Early in the new millennium, CIOs were becoming a more familiar presence at the executive table in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Sirianni joined forces with other CIOs to found the CIO Executive Council, a group that is now 12 years old. In this capacity, Dr. Sirianni has actively contributed to creating a defined global understanding of the CIO’s role. His involvement with the council led him to mentor women executives and be recruited to the Philippines BPO Advisory Board, which promotes and supports technology businesses in the Philippines. Dr. Sirianni’s relationship with the Philippines has allowed him to extend mentoring opportunities to students from Ateneo de Manila University. Each summer, Fordham IT welcomes several student interns from the University.
For these achievements and others he later realized at Fordham University, Dr. Sirianni received Computerworld‘s Premier 100 Leader award in 2009.
Today, Dr. Sirianni’s rich background makes him a fitting and visionary leader for Fordham University and Fordham IT. Since arriving in 2006, Dr. Sirianni has provided a reliable, leading edge environment for Fordham’s business-critical systems. He’s continued his commitment to supporting his staff’s development to accommodate the University’s changing technical needs and to encourage them to take on leadership roles. Last but by no means least, he has improved support for technology and increased digital resources and services across all areas in the University. Through Dr. Sirianni’s leadership of a high caliber team, it’s no surprise that Fordham IT recently received the Digital Edge 50 award for innovation.
Congratulations, Dr. Sirianni! The induction to the CIO Hall of Fame is well deserved, and we are all very proud of you.
About the CIO Hall of Fame Awards
The CIO Hall of Fame was first created in 1997 to spotlight 12 outstanding IT leaders who had significantly contributed to and profoundly influenced the IT discipline, the use of technology in business and the advancement of the CIO role. Ten years later, in 2007, CIO inducted its second class of honorees into the CIO Hall of Fame during CIO magazine’s 20th anniversary celebration. CIO continues to showcase this elite group of CIOs – now numbering 85 – during the CIO Hall of Fame induction ceremony. A list of all inductees can be viewed here.