Reporting directly to the University President and serving on his Cabinet, the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (VP & CIO) will partner with other key Cabinet leaders to integrate planning and service delivery while leading the ongoing commitment to support and promote the strategic use of information technology to advance the overall mission of the University and System. As a dual-titled position, there are distinct responsibilities for each role:
- The VP leads the Division of Information Technology and is responsible for managing the centrally deployed services through units responsible for enterprise application services, infrastructure services, security services, research computing, teaching and learning technologies, and service delivery.
- The CIO serves as the senior technology leader for the University and System providing the vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology strategies and initiatives to minimize duplication of functions and maximize efficiencies. The position scope is inclusive of all university divisions and system campuses. System- wide shared services currently include student applications, finance, and human resource systems.
- The CIO is responsible for coordinating opportunities to collaborate across the campuses of the State system and their designated campus leadership teams who are responsible for meeting the individual and unique requirements of their local institutions. Collaborations occur through professional development, structured purchasing processes, and the provisioning and deployment of shared services.
The scope of the VP and CIO role necessitates a high level of familiarity with the various constituent needs across a complex and growing R1 university and a commitment to the personal engagement necessary to meet the diverse needs of all units. The position is responsible for anticipating and maintaining a vision for future technology needs and for recommending strategies, priorities, and projects that will best achieve the University’s and System’s strategic goals and objectives.
At USC-Columbia, the Division of Information Technology currently employs approximately 175 full-time staff and has a total budget of approximately $45 million. The VP and CIO will inherit a capable leadership team who manages their own teams of IT professionals working to ensure the students, staff, and faculty have the access, connectivity, and resources needed to be successful.
The University seeks an established leader who is prepared to develop and execute an IT strategy that drives continuous improvement and propels the University forward in enhancing student experience and effectively supporting the academic, research, and administrative functions. The ideal candidate for this pivotal role will have already served in a similar role and be charged with the following duties.
Job Duty 1: Provides an Information Technology vision that enables the University and System to achieve their strategic priorities and positions USC ahead of its peers; brings new and fresh perspectives to the central and distributed IT resources. Serves as the primary advocate and spokesperson for technology strategy. Creates a reliable and secure infrastructure upon which enterprise applications, learning technologies, and research computing exist.
Job Duty 2: Creates and fosters a culture of IT service excellence while structuring services and functions in a transparent and collegial manner. Creates and maintains effective governance in collaboration with each function’s business owner recognizing the responsibility that IT bears for acting as an effective connector between the University’s diverse community of key stakeholders, enabling them to interact with each other and the Division of Information Technology. Partners with faculty and academic leadership to upgrade the effectiveness and efficiency of the University’s instructional and research programs through creative and prudent applications of technology.
Job Duty 3: Manages the Division’s functions and services in a timely, high-quality, and cost-effective manner consistent with the values and mission of the University. Ensures the recruitment, retention, development and evaluation of highly qualified personnel to support the centralized IT operations. Develops budget plans and prioritizes efforts to provide highly reliable services while also responding to requests for new services and enhancement of existing services. Supervises the acquisition and inventory of all computer hardware, software, and networking facilities; serves as the senior contact for vendors of computing hardware and software, participates in contract negotiations, and coordinates large technology purchases, site licenses and volume purchasing agreements. Participates in capital project planning and expansion to ensure the technology needs of the University community are anticipated and met.
Job Duty 4: Drives collaboration across the University and System. Promotes cooperation, integrated planning, and professional relationships that strengthen opportunities to share solutions to meet common needs and leverage the collective investments across the University and System.
Job Duty 5: Actively monitors developments in technology to ensure that the University is aware of and implements innovative and value-driven solutions for its needs. Develops and implements policies and practices to safeguard the University’s technology infrastructure and data. Represents the University and participates in personal professional development that promotes strategic growth. Serves as a national representative of the University and System’s IT acumen.
The successful candidate for this position will hold a Master’s degree or equivalent education, and a substantive record of IT leadership experience in an organization similar in size and scope to the University of South Carolina, of which at least 3 years is leading an IT unit at an institution of higher education. The professional record must show successful information technology management experience in progressively more senior positions within complex organizational environments. Additionally, the candidate must possess the following:
- A comprehensive understanding of how universities work, and in-depth knowledge of the technological demands of delivering first-class service to an academic research community.
- Experience managing a complex infrastructure environment and delivering reliable services to diverse user populations (such as, students, faculty, administrators, and staff), each with high expectations.
- Demonstration of being a highly engaged leader.
- Evidence of active participation with peers within previous organizational leadership teams.
- Superb communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with constituents at all levels of the University.
The most competitive candidates will have a passion for the role of technology in academia as well as a passion for the mission of the University of South Carolina, and will meet several of the following preferred qualifications and experiences:
- Advanced working knowledge and understanding of the academic and administrative functions of a major research university (R1).
- Knowledge and understanding of the current and developing strategic information requirements of a major research university.
- Experienced with the provisioning and delivery of world-class network services (wired, wireless, wide area networks, telephony).
- Knowledgeable of the complexities of delivering integrated enterprise application services in a multi- vendor environment specifically using Banner and/or PeopleSoft to meet the needs of a University and System.
- Significant contributions to an organization’s use of technologies to support teaching, research, and scholarship.
- Experience implementing technology and organizational change strategies to transform processes and use of data to improve the student experience.
- Knowledge of current trends and developments in information technology.
- Ability to develop requests for and evaluate proposals in reference to leading-edge information services technology.
Anticipating & Planning
- Adept at identifying and assessing future technological needs of the University and developing annual and longer-term budgets to address emerging needs.
- Experience developing an IT strategic plan in support of institutional mission and priorities.
- Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.
- Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
- Ability to provide strategic guidance and counsel to clientele in the assessment and development of existing and/or proposed systems.
- Organizational planning and development skills.
Communicating & Persuading
- Skilled at building consensus, collaborating with stakeholders, and both energizing personnel and using them effectively.
- A track record of partnership with academic and business leadership and shared decision-making that responds to needs, evaluates competing interests, and prioritizes investments.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
- Ability to build a case for investment in technology to meet strategic organizational goals and facilitate technology governance processes to identify and prioritize initiatives and assign project resources strategically and transparently.
- Experience leading in a model of shared governance while fostering a culture of trusted partnership, service, and continuous improvement within an IT organization.
- Experience engaging with executive leadership including cabinet and board of trustees.
Leading & Influencing
- Experienced at leading a diverse organization and serving a complex institution.
- Proficient at influencing decisions through personal credibility and sound reasoning and skilled at communicating business decisions and operating with transparency, as well as achieving buy-in from key stakeholders with sometimes divergent viewpoints.
- Ability to foster a cooperative work environment and direct multi-department technical and administrative teams including experience navigating challenging labor markets to attract and retain a diverse, high-performing team of IT professionals.
- Demonstrated leadership that captures and effectively uses human resources within the IT organization while recognizing when it is advantageous to seek outside advice, counsel and support.
The University of South Carolina is being assisted by Academic Search. Prospective applicants and nominators may arrange a confidential discussion with senior consultant Mahauganee Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications should be submitted via email to USCCIO@academicsearch.org and must consist of:
- a detailed cover letter addressing the expectations of the position;
- a current resume or curriculum vitae (CV); and
- a list of five professional references with contact information and a brief description explaining the working relationship of each to the applicant.
References will not be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate. All documents should be submitted in PDF format.
The position is open until filled but only applications received by November 3, 2023 can be assured full consideration.
Division of IT: a respectful, authentic, and supportive environment. We value and embrace different perspectives and are committed to creating safe and equitable work environments. Our goal is to build a diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects the community we serve. We respect and believe in each other and are continually improving. We are committed to working together to advance technology at the University.
Equal Opportunity Employer: the University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities or decisions for qualified persons on the basis of age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender (including transgender), gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy (false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, childbirth, recovery there from or related medical conditions, breastfeeding), race, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other bases under federal, state, local law, or regulations.
Chairperson: Donna Arnett, Executive VP for Academic Affairs and Provost
Caroline Agardy, VP for Human Resources
Lumi Bakos, Associate VP for Research Operations
Tommy Chandler, Dean for Arnold School of Public Health
Ernest Pringle, Vice Chancellor of IT, USC Aiken
Larry Thomas, VP for Communications
Rex Tolliver, VP for Student Affairs and Academic Success
Nikos Vitzilaios, Chair of Faculty Senate IT Committee, College of Engineering and Computing, Mechanical Engineering
Staff: Stacy Fritz, Chief of Staff
Staff: Krish Rescigno, Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.