The University of Tennessee System — Chief Information Officer

The University of Tennessee invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Information Officer. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) will join the UT System at a time of enormous opportunity and potential impact. As a forward thinking and exceptional communicator, the CIO will provide impactful leadership that will translate into effective policy, planning, and action, to further the goals of the system’s strategic plan and promote UT’s role in the State of Tennessee and the world. The UT System is embarking upon the launch of a new System wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation encompassing financial, human capital management, and student information operations, which will be transformative for the University.

What an ideal time to be joining the University of Tennessee. President Randy Boyd is developing a plan to “ignite the greatest decade in the history of the University of Tennessee,” see here. In 2019, across the UT System, total enrollment rose 1.5 percent to an all-time high of 51,582 across all campuses. Everywhere you look, UT is making a sizeable impact in the communities it serves. This past year, UT Promise was launched to promote scholarships to students at 14 high schools. To date, UT Promise has more than 4,212 first-time, full-time freshman applicants and 1,414 applications from current UT students. In the past year, TEAM was launched to ensure work is done in the most efficient and effective manner between the UT System and its campuses and institutes. The  Task force for Effective Administration and Management (TEAM) is working to ensure and to make clear why things are done a particular way. In an effort to increase openness regarding information and data, UT launched Transparent UT. This included a website and online portal for individuals to submit new ideas. UT had their third highest fundraising year in history and finished the year with 64,632 donors, the most donors in UT’s history. 

The CIO will report directly to the Chief Financial Officer and will provide the dynamic leadership required to support the UT System mission and to further the strategies needed to achieve goals outlined in the strategic framework. Leading collaborative efforts among staff members, other UT System staff, and UT campuses is essential to success. The CIO is expected to create an environment that promotes teamwork, and to work effectively and persuasively with key leaders at all UT institutions, members of the Board of Trustees, and senior leaders in the UT System. The CIO will provide University leaders and the Board of Trustees with strategic thinking, guidance, and general information on all areas of UT System information technology and security activities. This includes developing and presenting reports and information to the board and senior leadership as necessary.

The CIO will be responsible for the following: 

  • Leading the development and implementation of system wide digital strategies based on a solid understanding of academic and administrative requirements.
  • Leading the collaboration and standardization of University IT management.
  • Ensuring the effective planning and implementation of information technology projects.
  • Partnering in the leadership and implementation of the new ERP platform.
  • Managing the ongoing support of statewide IT services and systems.
  • Leading information security best practices along with the chief information security officer, including security policy management.
  • Leadership of nearly 60 staff and budgets of almost $6 million.

Candidates must be proven leaders with a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent level of education and experience. Candidates will demonstrate a minimum of 10 years IT experience with at least 5 years in a significant leadership/management role managing cross functional teams in complex organizations including accountability for strategic planning and implementation, consensus building, organizational leadership, and technical performance.  

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in setting and achieving strategic initiatives in a complex and changing environment; the ability to be an innovative and visionary thinker with strong leadership and communications skills; the ability to articulate a vision for the UT system regarding information technology, and build a future organizational structure to support that vision; and exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate persuasively and interact with a wide variety of constituents at all levels across institutions, including members of the Board of Trustees, chancellors, and with state agencies and national organizations. The CIO will possess a balance of highly developed management skills and leadership ability as well as a focus on service. The ideal candidate will be an expert problem solver who finds ways to address current needs while anticipating future trends in information technology, administrative operations, compliance, risk management, and academic priorities.

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Tom Phillips and Charlotte Harris are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link. All inquiries will be considered strictly confidential.

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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