Iowa CIO heads to Missouri

According to reports from today’s Des Moines Register, Iowa chief information officer, John Gillispie, has decided to leave Iowa for work in Missouri. Mr. Gillispie will take over as director of the Missouri Research and Education Network, the Iowa daily said.

The Missouri Research and Education Network, or MOREnet, provides Internet connectivity, access to Internet2, technical support, videoconferencing services and training to Missouri’s K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public libraries, health care, state government and other affiliated organizations. The member organized group is part of the University of Missouri System.

During his nearly eight-year tenyor as Iowa CIO, Mr. Gillispie championed the Iowa Communication Network, a similar statewide fiber-optic network meant to enhance distance learning. Though the future of the 20-year-old ICN may be in jepordy.

According to the Register:

The future of the nearly 20-year-old network has become the subject of perennial debate. Some state officials have discussed selling it or leasing it to save money in light of the rapid development of the Internet as a communication network. House Republicans included that idea among a list of cost-saving recommendations they suggested this spring. Gillispie urged state officials to develop new ways to use the network. “I’m surprised to see them struggle so mightily with whether the ICN should exist when almost every other state has one, and only Iowa is talking about selling theirs,” he said.

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