Steve Burrell


Steven Burrell, EdD, is vice president and chief information officer at Northern Arizona University and serves on the Arizona Sun Corridor Network Board of Directors.  He has nearly 40 years of higher education technology leadership experience.  Dr. Burrell began his career at Colorado State University and has held the top IT leadership position at Hutchinson Community College (Kansas), Plymouth State University (New Hampshire), Saint Leo University (Florida), and Georgia Southern University. Burrell is a lifelong learner, earning a bachelor's of science degree in Computer Science from Sterling College (Kansas), a Masters of Education degree in Education Technology Administration from Plymouth State University, an education specialist degree in Education Leadership from Georgia Southern University, and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard University College of Graduate Education Institute for Educational Management. In his career, Burrell has led a wide variety of successful technology collaborations, projects and services, including worldwide education initiatives; national competitive grants to improve integrated planning and advising for student success; state-wide multi-institution shared services; innovations in teaching, discovery, research, and performance capabilities; and state-wide infrastructure development among many others.   Dr. Burrell's research interests are in the humanizing aspects of technology and leadership development and is currently conducting research of gender bias as barriers to aspiring women IT leaders and aspects of Quantum Leadership in the higher education setting.  He has also lead the development of computational research capacity and capabilities around modern high-performance computation, networks and including state-of-the-art virtual reality technologies.  Burrell’s passion for technology and higher learning has created opportunities for fostering future generations of college graduates, responsible digital citizens, and community leaders.  He is engaged in vaious formal and informal teaching, mentoring and leadership development activities and frequently participates in mentoring discussion groups.  Students under his mentorship have produced Emmy Award-winning programming and have created cutting-edge technology business enterprises.  He has also taught technology courses as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions.  Dr. Burrell is also active in his profession, having served on national, state, and local technology, research, and government and in advisory roles to private business and education organizations.  He has served on advisory boards for Lumen, Hyland, Microsoft, and Salesforce among other technology companies.  He has also served in various roles with EDUCAUSE and other professional organizations. In 2020, he was named among the top 30 higher education IT influencers by EdTech magazine. Dr. Burrell is also active in his community, having served as the board chair and president of the Rotary International club, Hospice, among other organizations.  He has served on advisory and coordinating committees for the Chamber of Commerce, economic development, and organizations acting on behalf of animal rights and rescue.  You can follow Dr. Burrell on Linkedin. 

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • The CIO as Quantum Leader
    • Article

    The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the higher education landscape and forced CIOs to lead through chaos and ambiguity. In this new environment, CIOs must be adept at fostering technological change and transforming culture to achieve sustainable digital transformation while promoting inclusion and diversity in service delivery, building dynamic cross-functional teams, and creating institutional agility.

  • Facilitating DEI
    • Article

    Members of the EDUCAUSE Enterprise IT Program Advisory Committee share their advice on how enterprise IT leaders can further institutional goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

EDUCAUSE Presentations