The “Q&A with sgLEADERS” series on sgENGAGE aims to provide readers, including the next generation of social good leaders, with valuable insights from executives across the social good community.
Today’s Q&A is with Dwight D. Dozier, CIO of the Georgia Tech Foundation. He is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and oversight of all Foundation and enterprise advancement technology solutions. With more than 38 years of experience in higher education advancement, Dwight is an active participant in his profession, currently serving as a member of the board of directors for the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. He has also been appointed to the CASE District III board of directors and is a member of the Blackbaud Higher Education Executive Advisory Board.
Q: What led you to working in higher education?
A: My path to working in higher education and advancement started when I was attending college at Washington State University. While completing my degree, I had taken a part-time job working at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication entering gift and pledge data related to the KWSU Public Radio/TV Station’s annual fund drives. With a strong computer and technology interest, I wrote and developed the station’s donor database using dbase II and an HP150 touchscreen computer. It was pretty leading edge at the time for 1983. I had learned of an opportunity to perform data entry work for the WSU Office of Advancement Services, which I applied for. Having been selected for that position, that begin my initial journey as a professional in higher education advancement.
Q: What do people think you do during a typical day… and what do you actually do in a typical day?
A: Serving in the role as Chief Information Officer at the Georgia Tech Foundation, I would think people envision that I perform many administrative and strategic duties related to leading an important strategic information technology operation and agenda related to all advancement functions for the Georgia Institute of Technology. While that is one of the core functions of my role, I also work and spend many hands-on hours in trying to keep technically proficient with the ever-changing landscape of technology.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of as CIO of the Georgia Tech Foundation?
A: Having recently initiated the successful migration from a leading legacy Advancement system in use at Georgia Tech for over 25 years to an Azure-based Blackbaud CRM system, this achievement has been a point of pride for me and our organization. Additionally, I am also proud in the role that newly introduced technologies have played in equipping the Georgia Tech Foundation to address future and strategic growth.
Q: What role does technology play in your institution, and how do you see it continuing to have an impact in the future?
A: Working in the heart of one of the nation’s most recognized and top technically focused higher education institutions, the study, use and application of technology is a major initiative at Georgia Tech, with such pursuits designed to bring innovation to science, industry, the marketplace and in the benefits realized by many in their everyday lives. Within the advancement operation, we take inspiration by the innovations of Georgia Tech in pursuit of optimal constituent engagement and philanthropic support.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that has guided the way you lead?
A: Make sure you that you “get out of the way of your own self” in pursuit of your goals. With the many obstacles that you may encounter along the way, make sure that you are not or do not become one of them.
Q: What’s the most surprising place you draw inspiration from for your work?
A: Many members of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees have inspired me by what they have achieved professionally, which is often on a national corporate leadership level, but also by the admirable way these same people conduct themselves as human beings. Also believe or not, the Big Bang Theory has been a source of entertaining inspiration!
Q: What are you reading right now and/or what podcast are you listening to?
A: While I had not been a frequent podcast listener, I am an avid user of Flipboard on my iPad and as such, I read much material related to technology, photography and music on a daily basis. In addition to my profession in technology, I am a photography enthusiast and have had long time participation as an active jazz drummer.
More about Dwight:
Dwight D. Dozier is the CIO of the Georgia Tech Foundation, responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and oversight of all Foundation and enterprise advancement technology solutions. Preceding Georgia Tech, Dwight served as senior associate vice president of advancement at the George Washington University, responsible for the areas of alumni relations, advancement services, constituent relations, and markets. Prior to his work at GWU, Dwight served as the associate vice president of university advancement and advancement services at the University of Louisville, assistant executive director of alumni services at The Pennsylvania State University, and as manager of biographical records and systems analyst at Washington State University.
With more than 38 years of experience in higher education advancement, Dwight is an active participant in his profession, currently serving as a member of the board of directors for the Association of Advancement Services Professionals. Additionally, he has been a faculty member, presenter, and summer institute and conference chair for CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) and has served as a commissioner on the CASE National Commission on Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. Dwight was also involved with CASE Kentucky as a board member, annual conference chair, and president of the organization. Most recently he has been appointed to the CASE District III board of directors and is a member of the Blackbaud Higher Education Executive Advisory Board.