The University of Rhode Island seeks an innovative, results oriented leader for the position of Chief Information Officer. The CIO is a member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team and reports to the Provost and the Vice President for Administration and Finance. The CIO leads URI in the effective management and improvement of campus-wide information technology services for students, faculty, and staff. The position provides leadership for university-wide initiatives to deploy technology solutions to enable research, support student success, facilitate teaching and learning, improve business processes, and utilize data for evidence-based decision making. This position emphasizes resourcefulness, entrepreneurial instincts, a collaborative spirit, strong service orientation, excellent communication and problem solving skills, and a keen understanding of strategic higher education issues.
The CIO must be an exceptional communicator who effectively engages with the campus community in IT decision-making and delivers a high level of service and satisfaction. The most competitive candidates will have successfully set and implemented IT strategies, developed and led diverse, high-performing IT teams and created operations that are strong on service and project execution.
About the University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island is the state’s public learner-centered research university. Its mission may found here.
The University’s 18,072 undergraduate and graduate students pursue degree programs in ten schools and colleges. Research and scholarship is core to the University mission and strategy. In 2017 researchers received $86M in competitive grants, were issued 11 patents and partnered with the Research Foundation to commercialize intellectual property including the formation of two start-up companies. Candidates may learn more about the University’s rich 125 year history here.
URI has ambitions goals for the 21st Century. Its academic vision below guides planning.
The University of Rhode Island will be the institution of first choice for students and faculty with a passion for inquiry. Our emphasis on innovation and interdisciplinary learning and discovery connects us with the world and is built upon a contemporary foundation of liberal learning and scholarship that celebrates diversity and complexity, and instills empowerment and social responsibility. Our emphases and expertise in the broadly defined realms of health, environment, and science and technology translate into learning and discovery that matter deeply in the world. We contribute directly to global prosperity through collaborative innovation and productive partnerships.”
The academic strategic plan pursues four goals, many of which will be greatly accelerated and enabled by effective technology. They include:
Creating a 21st Century 24/7 Learning Environment focused on experiential and interdisciplinary learning as well as the most effective pedagogy supported by technology.
Increasing the Magnitude, Prominence and Impact of URI’s Research and Scholarship including creating opportunities for students to engage in research.
Internationalizing and Globalizing the University by preparing students to live and work in a global economy and society, increasing study abroad opportunities and increasing the number of international students that study at URI.
Building a Community that Values Equity and Diversity, preparing students to participate and lead in institutions that are increasingly diverse.
The CIO will shape the implementation of technology strategies to enable the academic strategic plan and propose ways to harness digital technologies to support academic excellence and foster innovation in teaching, research and operations. To learn more about University goals and strategies view the current Academic Plan.
IT @ URI
IT at the University of Rhode Island comprises departmental and University IT support teams. Information Technology Services (ITS) is the largest of these organizations with 90 staff and a $15.5 million operating budget that are the direct responsibility of the CIO. As the senior officer for technology, the CIO also provides leadership to URI’s broader IT community of 70 distributed staff and develops a policy, service, and technology architecture that optimizes the collective work of all IT organizations.
The University recently formed an IT governance structure that advises the CIO and senior leadership on overall strategies and priorities. URI prepared for this change in leadership by undertaking an externally facilitated assessment of IT and developing a set of strategic goals to support the University strategic plan. The new CIO will play an essential role in shaping the implementation of these goals and will maintain a “living plan” that adapts to changes in resources, technology, and institutional priorities.
CIO Leadership Agenda
The IT Assessment and Strategic Plan frame both tactical and strategic opportunities for the next CIO. The CIO will leverage recent progress to improve and better align IT services with the needs of students, faculty and staff. S/he will facilitate ITS’ continued transformation into a collaborative organization better skilled at project execution and service delivery and prepared to acquire new skills to leverage new technologies and cloud services. The new leader will look comprehensively at the current allocation of resources and improve alignment with the University’s strategic priorities and technology changes.
Like most institutions, URI manages its resources diligently to provide good stewardship. Constraint requires careful choices but is not an impediment to change and innovation. Innovative initiatives taking place at URI include virtual reality, data science, data visualization and mobile technologies. The CIO will work with constituents across the University to build on these accomplishments and pursue an agenda that includes:
Expand support for research computing including high performance computing and other technologies to enable scholarship and creative works;
Collaborate with schools, colleges, the library and the faculty to improve services to support teaching and learning and maintain effective and current technologies in classrooms and online learning spaces;
Partner with schools, state, and industry to bring additional capabilities to URI and forge collaborative solutions to shared challenges;
Develop a high performing IT team with improved processes and collaborative culture as well as the structures and competencies to support strategic IT directions;
Support business process improvement and optimize the use of technologies including existing finance, human resources and student information systems;
Improve quality and consistency of IT services and enhance communications with students, faculty and staff;
Improve partnership and the balance between central and decentralized IT services;
Establish a cloud strategy and roadmap for major applications and infrastructure including defining the future for the University data center, ERP and disaster recovery capabilities; and
Implement an information security strategy that appropriately safeguards information assets and mitigates risks.
Key Knowledge and Experience
To be successful in this position, the ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge and experience:
Effective collaborative leadership style that incorporates organizational, analytical and decision-making skills with strong change management, project management, and team building skills.
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to use diplomacy, inclusion, and consensus to inform the decision-making process.
Strong financial management skills including ability to manage complex budgets with multiple funds sources including experience developing revenue streams through grants and corporate partnerships.
Customer service skills and proven commitment to promoting and maintaining a service-oriented culture.
Transformed IT organizations to improve communications, service, and build capacity to execute projects well.
Helped create organizational culture that is welcoming of diversity and stresses collegiality and accountability.
Understands the academic enterprise and contributed to or led IT strategies to support teaching & learning, and research.
Helped organizations strike an effective blend of distributed and centralized IT services.
Contributed to strategies and projects to leverage technology to improve business processes.
Understands information security issues and participated significantly in developing risk-based security strategies.
Understands public sector entities and built effective external relationships with state agencies.
Demonstrated creativity and resourcefulness in delivery of IT services.
Required and Preferred Qualifications
The CIO will have the following minimum qualifications:
Minimum of a master’s degree;
5 years of experience at a senior management level (Deputy, AVP, Director) of a major division of information technology organization such as academic and/or administrative computing in a complex, multi-tiered organization.
Experience managing IT in a distributed or federated IT operating model.
Experience directing complex technology projects including proposal formulation, budget setting, contract negotiations, project planning and implementation, managing staff, and problem solving.
Significant understanding of ERP systems and their applicability within a complex academic environment, applications and systems unique to academia (for example, open source applications, course and learning management systems, instructional and classroom technology, and electronic portfolio systems).
Strong oral communications and interpersonal skills that involve collaboration among faculty, staff and senior administrators.
Strong written communication skills.
Demonstrated experience to work successfully in a culturally diverse environment
The ideal candidate will also meet the following preferred qualifications:
Experience in a research intensive higher education institution with understanding of research computing and networking
Experience and knowledge of the applications used to support administrative systems, instructional delivery, database management systems, and voice and data network technologies; knowledge of emerging technologies.
Extensive knowledge and experience in the design, implementation and maintenance of a multi-platform, integrated enterprise and academic/research computing environment.
Experience in fostering teamwork and direction among information technology employees reflected in a results-oriented, energetic, innovative, flexible, client-focused style with a thorough understanding of higher education administration and culture.
Demonstrated experience in improving processes furthering strategic goals of computing, information and instructional technologies to support the teaching, research, and outreach efforts of the faculty and the learning outcomes of students.
Experience with establishing strategies to adopt software as a service and other cloud computing models for ERP and other technologies
ALL REQUIREMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO POSSIBLE MODIFICATION TO REASONABLY ACCOMMODATE INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.
The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, medical condition, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, covered veteran status, or any other protected status.