IT Executive of the Year
Not many people get the chance to pioneer a new department at a mid-sized university, but that’s exactly where Jeff P. Morrissey finds himself. The Springfield native and chief information officer at Missouri State University heads up the system’s Information Services Division, which was created in January 2016. With a 76-person staff, Morrissey is responsible for providing MSU faculty, staff and students the technology and support services they need for an effective, secure learning environment. Here’s how the Central Texas College alum spends a typical Monday at the office.
6:00 a.m. Morrissey’s internal alarm clock wakes him up around 6 o’clock every morning. He gets ready for the day sans coffee (he’s never been a fan), and on his way out the door he grabs a breakfast sandwich to eat at the office.
7:00 a.m. Morrissey eases into the day with a little peace and quiet at his office in Cheek Hall. “No one else really gets here until 8, so that gives me an hour of some alone time,” Morrissey says. “I look at my calendar, and I go through my emails and get prepped for my first set of meetings.”
8:00 a.m. When the Information Services Division was created, Morrissey was added to President Clif Smart’s Administrative Council. The 17-member group meets every Monday to share updates from their respective departments. Each person has so much to share, so the meeting usually lasts about two hours.
10:00 a.m. Around midmorning, Morrissey might have another meeting, but he tries to only have four hours’ worth of meetings in any given day. “I try to really schedule some time every day on my calendar that I can sit and actually produce the deliverables that I need to bring to the table,” he says.
11:30 a.m. Morrissey doesn’t like meetings that conclude at noon or start right at 1 p.m. Instead he spends his long lunch hour eating a sack lunch at his office; chatting for a few minutes with his wife, Pam; and getting ready for his afternoon. On the rare occasion that he eats off-site, he’s probably at Jimm’s Steakhouse.
1:30 p.m. Morrissey meets with his leadership team, which includes the director of computer services, the director of networking and telecommunications and the information security officer. Morrissey updates them on results of the Administrative Council meeting, then they share updates from their own departments.
3:00 p.m. By midafternoon, Morrissey is ready for a change of pace. Sometimes this means walking around campus to check out a new computer lab or visiting a colleague to discuss a new initiative. “You can become very quickly a slave to your keyboard,” he says. “So I tend to do a lot of interaction personally with folks and build relationships like that.” Then he focuses on creating strategic plans, reviewing policy or doing research for an upcoming project.
5:00 p.m. Morrissey heads home to spend time with Pam. “I try to shut off the work world for about an hour or so,” he says. The couple spends time walking their dog, golfing or doing chores before sitting down for dinner.
7:30 p.m. As much as he tries not to, Morrissey typically retreats to his home office to finish up some work. The TV in his office is on low unless he is practicing a presentation for the next day.
10:00 p.m. Morrissey ends the day by watching the 10 o’clock news on KY3 and then turns in for the night.