Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
Sonoma State University
March 15, 2018
Rohnert Park, California
Full Time - Experienced
Sonoma State University (SSU) seeks an innovative, resourceful, and results-oriented Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) to lead the deliberate transformation of campus information technology and management. The CIO reports to the Provost/Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and is a member of the Provost’s Senior Leadership Team. The CIO leads SSU 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 support student success, facilitate teaching and learning, improve business processes, and utilize data for evidence-based decision making. This position emphasizes resourcefulness, 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 Sonoma State University
This is an exciting opportunity to provide essential administrative leadership at one of California’s most popular institutions, unique in its liberal arts and sciences mission and located less than an hour away from the economically booming San Francisco Bay Area amidst the natural beauty of Sonoma County. Sonoma State University is a comprehensive residential public institution with an undergraduate student enrollment of approximately 9,400 students and is located in Rohnert Park, California. The University offers degrees in 46 majors and 47 minors at the bachelor's level and 15 at the master's level, as well as nine credential programs and eight undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. The University operates as part of the 23- campus California State University (CSU) system, the largest four-year system of higher education in the United States.
Sonoma State University is committed to achieving excellence through teaching, scholarship, learning and inclusion. In line with the Seawolf Commitment, our values include respect, responsibility, excellence and integrity. We strive to cultivate a community in which a diverse population can learn and work in an atmosphere of civility and respect. We encourage innovation, experimentation and creativity, as well as contributions to equity and inclusion, in the pursuit of excellence for all members of our University community.
IT @ SSU
The IT department at SSU has 52 FTE and a $4.3 million operating budget that are the direct responsibility of the CIO. As the senior officer for technology, the CIO has leadership responsibility for the management, development, and ongoing business process improvement of the University's information technology solutions and services. This unit serves the entire university and encompasses all technology delivery and support on the campus, including academic technology.
CIO Leadership Agenda
At a time of significant institutional change the CIO will position the IT organization to be a trusted University partner and service provider. S/he will facilitate a transformation of the IT department 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. In collaboration with key stakeholders, faculty, students, and IT staff, the CIO will leverage the newly created IT governance structure and process to facilitate transparent IT decision-making across the University, including identification of IT strategies and priorities that are in alignment with overall University goals and that advance the strategic plans of the University and its Schools. The CIO will work with constituents across the University and pursue an agenda that includes the following initiatives:
Stabilize the core technology infrastructure and support model to improve the overall quality, reliability, and consistency of IT services and solutions;
Develop a high performing IT team with a service-oriented, collaborative culture;
Establish an IT roadmap for major applications and infrastructure that considers integration and sourcing strategies and balances the need to stabilize existing solutions and invest in emerging technological directions;
Work in partnership with campus leadership and constituents to deliver IT services and solutions that align with campus needs;
Improve services to support teaching and learning and maintain effective and current technologies in classrooms and online learning spaces;
Support business process improvement and optimize the use of existing technologies;
Improve communication between the IT team and students, faculty and staff;
Partner with other CSU campuses, the CSU Chancellor’s Office, and industry to bring additional capabilities to SSU; 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.
Demonstrated creativity and resourcefulness in delivery of IT services.
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to use diplomacy, inclusion, and consensus to inform the decision-making process.
Proven ability to motivate and develop IT staff of all levels across technology disciplines.
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.
Demonstrated experience transforming 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, transparency, and accountability.
Understands the academic enterprise, works effectively with shared governance, and has contributed to or led IT strategies to support teaching & learning.
Led large, complex technology implementations and the adoption of cloud, open source, and/or third party technology solutions and 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 mission of public higher education and structure of a multi-campus system.
Required and Preferred Qualifications
The CIO will have the following minimum qualifications:
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 directing complex technology projects including proposal formulation, budget setting, contract negotiations, project planning and implementation, managing staff, and problem solving.
Significant understanding of systems and their applicability within a complex academic environment (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:
At least ten (10) years of senior IT leadership experience within higher education institutions.
Fostered teamwork and developed strategies to recruit and retain a high performing staff with appropriate technical and non-technical competencies in a union environment.
Worked with existing and knowledge of emerging applications used in an academic environment to support administrative systems, instructional delivery, database management systems, and voice and data network technologies.
Leveraged technology to support teaching, student learning (both online and in classroom) and to assure efficient business processes.
Established external partnerships with information technology vendors and local community organizations.
Developed strategies to adopt software as a service and other cloud computing models.
Led organizations to adopt continuous improvement of IT management processes;
Experience assessing, prioritizing, and mitigating information security risks and devising strategies to prevent and recover from disasters.
For full consideration please submit cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 15, 2018. Position will remain open until filled. Please direct all inquiries or nominations for this position to Next Generation Executive Search Managing Partners: Mary Beth Baker at email@example.com or Phil Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
About Sonoma State University
Next Generation LLC is an executive search dedicated to helping higher education and non profit institutions fill their IT leadership needs.