The University of Wisconsin System, one of the premier systems of public higher education in the country, seeks an innovative, talented, and dynamic leader to serve as the Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (AVP). This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly experienced and accomplished leader to set the course for the future use of information technology in the System. The AVP will work collaboratively with the Vice President for Administration on system wide information technology planning and digital strategy, transforming the way the UW System—and its 15 degree granting institutions—use technology to advance the UW System’s overarching mission. As the head of the Office of Learning and Information Technology Services (OLITS), the AVP will collaborate with system colleagues and campus leaders in determining how to meet academic and administrative needs through the effective use of information technology.
The UW System employs more than 40,000 faculty and staff statewide, and its institutions’ total enrollment is just under 180,000 students, conferring approximately 36,000 degrees each year. Located in Madison, Wisconsin, home of its flagship university, the UW System Administration offices oversee 13 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore institutional campuses that comprise the UW Colleges, and a statewide UW-Extension. Two of the universities (UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee) are research doctoral degree-granting institutions and 11 are master’s degree-granting comprehensive institutions. Together, these institutions are a tremendous academic, cultural, and economic resource for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.
The AVP will join the UW System at a time of enormous opportunity and potential impact. As a forward thinking and exceptional communicator, the AVP 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 UW’s role in the State of Wisconsin and the world.
The AVP will be responsible for:
Leading the development and implementation of system wide digital strategies based on a solid understanding of academic and administrative requirements.
Ensuring the effective planning and implementation of information technology projects.
Directing the implementation of 2020FWD initiatives as required, including within the CORE component of the strategic framework.
Leading the Office of Learning and Information Technology Services.
Communicating effectively with a broad range of constituents.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM STRATEGIC PLAN: 2020FWD
The Board of Regents passed the strategic plan, 2020FW: Moving Wisconsin and the World Forward, in August 2016 to provide a vision for the UW System and its impact within the State of Wisconsin. Its framework outlines the following four main priorities to be addressed at the system-level and institutional-level:
Focus on the educational pipeline by increasing the enrollment, success, and graduation of students. Primary within this will be aiding students at all levels, from early childhood through secondary school, college, and lifelong learning. An additional emphasis will be on maximizing the number of students who enter and remain in the system, particularly from underrepresented groups, and meeting Wisconsin’s need for more college graduates.
Focus on growing a more creative and engaging educational experience so all learners can compete and succeed in a global environment. This includes ensuring access to exceptional faculty and staff, and promoting cultural fluency and communication.
Focus on Wisconsin business and community mobilization, by addressing the state’s greatest needs and helping local businesses to become more successful.
Focus on operational excellence by vigorously pursuing transparent, efficient, and effective operational practices, and demonstrating administrative excellence and academic process efficiency.
Within the priority of operational excellence is the CORE (Commitment to Operational Reform and Excellence) program. The goal of CORE is to create new operational efficiencies through standardizing, consolidating and streamlining non-instructional operations. The AVP will lead the planning and implementation of components of the CORE program, including the assessment of the federated model and where services should be provided in a more standardized manner.
The 2020FWD strategic framework will guide the UW System strategic priorities for the next four years, and the new Associate Vice President for Policy Analysis and Research will play a vital role in supporting and implementing those priorities.
THE OFFICE OF LEARNING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (OLITS)
The Associate Vice President for Information Technology leads the Office of Learning and Information Technology Services (OLITS), which is dedicated to aligning the use of technology to enhance the teaching and learning mission of the UW System and its institutions. OLITS staff have responsibility for system wide collaboration and enhancement of seven major areas of Information Technology; overall digital strategy, technology for teaching and learning, information security, major administrative systems, wide area networking, library collaboration and innovation, integration strategy and financial management of system wide information technology endeavors. In addition, OLITS develops and supports information technology systems and services that allows UW System Administration staff to effectively and efficiently perform their responsibilities.
The OLITS office oversees the development of annual information technology plans for the UW System and its institutions and prepares the twice-annual report on large or high-risk information technology projects. The AVP presents the plans and reports to the Board of Regents Business and Finance Committee.
The office is responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures for the management of information technology. The AVP directs policy activities, including working with the Chief Information Office Council, system wide governance groups, and external organizations to inform policy.
THE ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The AVP will report directly to the Vice President for Administration and will provide the dynamic leadership required to support the UW System mission and to further the strategies needed to achieve goals outlined in the 2020FWD strategic framework.
The person will direct an effective system office (OLITS) that plans and coordinates the delivery of services to UW institutions, working closely with other UW System offices, the Wisconsin Department of Administration, and campuses in performing these duties. The AVP will be engaged with state and national organizations to stay current with trends in information technology and higher education.
Collaboration among members of the OLITS staff, other UW System staff, and UW campuses is essential to success. The AVP is expected to create an environment that promotes collaboration, and to work effectively and persuasively with key leaders at all UW institutions, members of the Board of Regents, and senior leaders in the UW System, in achieving the goals of 2020FWD.
The Common Systems Review Group is comprised of representatives from all UW institutions. The AVP serves as a member of this group, which provides strategic direction and oversight for shared information systems including financials, human resources, budget and planning, and digital learning. The group is co-chaired by the Vice President for Academics and Student Affairs and the Vice President for Administration.
The AVP will provide the Board of Regents with guidance, strategic thinking, and general information on all areas of UW System information technology activities. This includes working directly with the Board of Regents Business and Finance Committee, developing reports and information for the committee as necessary, and presenting periodically. The AVP will also prepare reports of current and relevant issues to keep Regents informed regarding information technology matters.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The successful candidate will bring a national perspective on information technology planning, digital strategy, and effective leadership in an evolving higher education and information technology environment.
Key opportunities and challenges for the next AVP include:
Collaboratively assessing the federated model of information technology and developing strategies to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services across the UW System
An important responsibility of the AVP is to work with institutional CIOs, Provosts, Chief Business Officers, and other stakeholders to assess the current model of providing information technology services. This is essential to advance the goals of 2020FWD in an environment of constrained resources and evolving adoption of cloud-based services, standardization of business processes, and heightened expectations for data analytics.
Provide leadership and management for the Office of Learning and Information Technology Services
The AVP will build an office that exceeds the expectations of its stakeholders in planning and delivering results. This will include collaborating in new ways within the UW System, building bridges with others to effectively partner in the delivery of services, and determining what core competencies are essential for OLITS. Professional development for staff, data to inform decisions, and operational metrics will be components of the office’s operation in the future.
Direct the development and implementation of initiatives related to 2020FWD and CORE
UW System offices are working collaboratively to advance 2020FWD and CORE initiatives, including the development of a cloud strategy, improving business process standardization, establishing a data management program, and exploring new ways to collaborate, consolidate, and streamline non-instructional activities. The AVP will play a key role in these programs.
Serve as a resource for UW Institutions
As a key leader in the UW System, the AVP will serve as a partner, trusted colleague, collaborator, and facilitator who can advance the effective and efficient use of information technology across the UW System. The AVP will demonstrate the nimbleness and flexibility necessary to lead in a complex, multi-institution environment while advancing operational goals that include process standardization, data management, and consolidation or centralization of services where warranted. Working with CIOs, the Common System Review Group, the Information Assurance Council, and other groups, the AVP will be a valued contributor in the UW System.
Act as a thought leader, policy analyst, and partner to the Vice President for Administration and other leaders in the UW System office
The AVP will be an active partner in leading information technology activities in the UW System with the President of the UW System, the vice presidents for Administration, Finance, Academic and Student Affairs, and University Relations. Reporting to the Vice President for Administration, the AVP will serve as a change agent, promoting the goals of 2020FWD and and identifying how to better use information technology across institutions.
Communicate effectively with a broad range of constituents and stakeholders
As an ambassador and communicator, the AVP will possess the creativity and listening skills to build relationships at all levels, within the UW System, the Board of Regents, and individual campuses, as well as externally with state legislators and organizations. This individual will be able to tell the story of achieving academic and administrative objects clearly and effectively. The AVP will possess exceptional oral and written communication and the gravitas and confidence to convey ideas to the Board and system senior leadership.
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
The ideal candidate for the role of Associate Vice President for Information Technology 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 is essential. The ideal candidate will have the ability to articulate a vision for the UW System regarding information technology, and build a future organizational structure to support that vision. The ideal candidate will possess 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 Regents, chancellors, provosts, and with state agencies and national organizations.
The AVP 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.
Candidates must possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (advanced degree preferred); and either: A) ten years of extensive experience in information technology-related leadership; or B) ten years of significant administrative leadership experience in a large complex organization in a related field.
While few individuals will embody all of them, the successful candidate will bring many of the following experiences and qualities:
At least ten years of professional experience in higher education.
Demonstrated ability to lead transformation and change initiatives.
Demonstrated ability to lead digital strategy.
Superior interpersonal and communication skills.
Experience working in a multi-university higher education system and experience at a large, complex, and diverse campus.
Demonstrated comprehensive understanding of both business and academic issues related to information technology.
Demonstrated ability to articulate vision and direction to diverse interest groups to achieve common goals related to information technology.
Demonstrated ability to successfully analyze complex issues and develop innovative approaches and solutions.
Demonstrated ability to develop, implement, and evaluate information technology plans to achieve the strategic goals of the organization.
Experience working with a range of institution types.
Superior written and oral communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship building skills, ability to interact effectively with a broad range of constituents.
Ability to function with a high degree of autonomy, creativity, and The agility to manage multiple tasks in a complex, system wide environment with numerous institutions.
Possess a high level of leadership ability to motivate and professionally develop staff.
Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Ability to manage and motivate technical staff members and managers.
Ability to provide expertise as needed to constituents with the System Administration and the UW institutions.
Conditions of Employment: This is a full-time, salaried (exempt) limited position. The salary for this position will be commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience. UW System employees receive an excellent benefit package: Summary - Faculty, Academic Staff & Limited Appointees. Please see this link for total compensation information: UW System Total Compensation Estimator. Special Note: The UW System conducts criminal background checks for final candidate(s).
To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be received by Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
However, applications may be accepted until the position has been filled. To apply, upload:
(1) a cover letter specifically addressing how your education and experience relate to the position and qualifications described above, with an emphasis on the areas outlined under “The Successful Candidate”; (2) a comprehensive resume; (3) the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers for at least five professional (including supervisory) references. Your application materials also need to include a statement of whether you wish to have your application held in confidence or made available to the public upon request. Please note that in the absence of any statement regarding confidentiality, we will assume you do not wish to have your application held in confidence.
The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released.
These documents are to be uploaded electronically as a single PDF file in the “Upload a New Resume” section of the online application process. You will NOT be submitting individual documents in the “Add Attachment” or “Add References” sections of the process. Applications should be completed online here.
About University of Wisconsin System Administration
The UW System is comprised of 13 universities, 13 two-year colleges, and statewide UW-Extension. Two of the universities (UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee) are doctoral degree-granting institutions and 11 are master’s degree-granting comprehensive institutions. The UW System is governed by a single Board of Regents comprised of 18 members. The UW System head is the president of the System. The ...UW System institutions’ combined headcount enrollment exceeds 180,000 and they confer approximately 33,000 degrees each year. Learn more about the UW System at http://www.wisconsin.edu/about/.