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1.8 The CSU, Innovation, Equity during and beyond COVID

In our previous episodes, we’ve explored some adjustments and innovations folx have made during COVID19 and here we are continuing in that vein. Only this time, we get the bird’s eye view of the transition to migrating the California State University system online. As you may know, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States with 23 campuses enrolling almost 500,000 students and about 26,000 faculty and 25,000 staff. I had the honor of getting to know our guest, Michael Berman when he came to CSU Channel Islands as our Chief Information Officer. Today,  Michael Berman is the Chief Information Officer for the California State University system, providing enterprise services and strategic coordination for all 23 campuses of the CSU. He recently served as CSU’s first Chief Innovation Officer, leading the effort to promote innovation across the CSU campuses, an effort he continues to support in his CIO role. 

As Dr. Steve Relyea, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer said, “Berman is well-respected by the national higher education community for his leadership in using technology as an enabler for student success.” 

That is a fantastic way of describing how I see Michael. Time and time again I see Michael demonstrate his student and people-centric leadership. In fact, I am confident that when you listen to this episode you will learn why I and so many others have learned so much from Michael. He cares about technology and is a brilliant innovator but what is more important is the way in which he leads. You would not think that you’d hear the Chief Information Officer talk about the relationship between COVID19 and being more sensitive to others on an episode like… but he’s not just any CIO. He’s Michael Berman. Someone I have truly been honored to get to know and see as a mentor.

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