The first and only vice president for information systems of the University of Missouri system has announced his retirement.
Ralph Caruso became the UM system’s first chief information officer and vice president for information systems in 1992, when then-president George Russell decided the position was necessary because of the increasing role information technology was playing in higher education. Caruso announced Monday that he plans to retire on March 31, 2005.
Caruso, who was born in Washington, D.C., in 1939, came to the university in 1992 after a career with IBM. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science at Benjamin Franklin University. He also served as interim vice chancellor of computing at MU from January 1996 to October 1997.
As vice president for information systems, Caruso has a staff of about 450 and a $77 million budget, according to the UM system Web site. He is also responsible for reviewing the system’s annual information technology budget.
UM President Elson Floyd will take Caruso’s retirement as an opportunity “to review and redefine the position of UM vice president for information systems in the months ahead,” UM spokesman Joe Moore said.
Floyd will also use this time to determine the specific criteria he will look for in Caruso’s replacement, Moore said.
“Ralph Caruso has been a vital part of the university team, and his tireless record of service as the university’s first chief information officer speaks for itself,” Floyd said in a press release. “His expertise and spirited good nature will be greatly missed.”
During his tenure, Caruso saw the birth and growth of Morenet and Mobius — both statewide academic networks — as well as the beginning of hardwire networks for the UM campuses and administration, and the creation of a UM-wide e-mail system.
“My time at the University of Missouri has been exceptionally rewarding,” Caruso said in the press release. “I have been lucky to have such wonderful colleagues, and I will miss them.”
In his retirement, Caruso might do some part-time consulting but has no specific plans as of yet, Moore said.