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Mason Has First CIO University Grads

By Carrie Secondo

Three George Mason alumni have been honored as the first CIO University graduates. Last fall, George Mason University's School of Management was named one of four academic partners in CIO University, a virtual consortium created to educate the federal government's top-level information technology (IT) executives.

In April, Jim Flyzick, CIO of the Treasury Department, presented Patrice A. Clark, M.S. '99; Philson E. Lescott, M.S. '99; and Colin Callahan, M.S. '98, with CIO University certificates at FOSE (Federal Office Systems Exhibition), the leading IT exhibition and conference serving the government market.

CIO University is a joint initiative between the Federal CIO Council and the General Services Administration. George Mason University, Carnegie Mellon University, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland­University College were chosen by the CIO Council to launch the CIO University virtual consortium. The council of federal agency and department CIOs (chief information officers) was created to respond to issues that affect the federal information technology community, including information technology education for government leaders.

In 1996, Congress passed the Clinger Cohen Act to establish core IT competencies required of federal employees before they are eligible to become CIOs in the government. A group of senior executives, industry representatives, and academic partners developed a list of 300 learning objectives based on the Clinger Cohen competencies.

"Federal employees who wish to become CIOs must get a CIO certificate from CIO University, and they can do that by attending George Mason's program," says Andres Fortino, director of George Mason's Technology Management graduate program. "Requirements range from program and project management to capital planning and investment assessment," says Fortino, who helped develop the learning objectives.

George Mason's master's program offers government executives a graduate degree in technology management. Courses are based on foundational business knowledge, management skills, the application of technology, and executive leadership. Upon completion of the 18-month program, and an additional one-week seminar on the federal procurement process, federal employees are eligible for positions as government CIOs.

Alumni of the Technology Management program can return to George Mason for the one-week seminar, "Navigating the Federal IT Procurement Process," to become eligible for the CIO University certificate.

Charles D. Spotts and Donald R. Dechow Jr. will graduate from the Technology Management program in August and will become the next CIO graduates.


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