RMIT loses IT chief to Southern Cross


Melbourne’s RMIT University has lost its long-standing executive director of Information Technology Services Allan Morris to rival Southern Cross University.

RMIT’s chief operating officer and vice president of Resources Steve Somogyi confirmed the shift, noting it would allow Morris to take a step up to the CIO role at Southern Cross. The executive had led RMIT’s IT division for the past nine years.

Somogyi praised Morris’ work at the university, saying he had done a “fabulous job”.

RMIT has undergone a number of high-profile technology shifts over the years. In July this year the university finished expanding its new wireless network, while in 2009 Morris was mulling a potential move to thin client desktop technology.

But it hasn’t been all good news over the years.

In 2003, for example, Morris conducted an extensive interview — still available online — about a botched PeopleSoft implementation which was supposed to integrate student administration tasks and the university’s alumni system into one overarching system.

And RMIT has been forced to deal with the closure of key networking supplier Nortel as well — the company was split up and sold off over the past several years.

The university has advertised Morris’ position, saying it was after an “energetic leader” to lead change through continually improvement and upgrade of IT services. RMIT is one of Australia’s largest universities, with more than 70,000 students studying at campuses in Melbourne and Vietnam, as well as online and at partner institutions.

Senior RMIT IT staffer Bernard Broom is acting in Morris’ stead until a permanent replacement is found.

Image credit: Rob Owen-Wahl, royalty free