Chief information officer

the opportunity

Ursinus College seeks a highly qualified and experienced leader to join the College as the new Chief Information Officer and replace the current Interim CIO. The new CIO will report directly to President Bobby Fong and will be responsible for the Information Technology and Library operations of the College while also serving as a key member of the executive leadership team. The new Chief Information Officer is expected to begin no later than July 1, 2014.

the college: 

Chartered in 1869, Ursinus enrolls 1600 undergraduate students from 32 states and 13 countries. More than 19 percent are students of color and 95 percent live in the College’s residence halls. An 11:1 student/faculty ratio enables a learning environment in which intensely engaged faculty members teach, mentor, and partner with students in a process of intellectual growth, personal development, self-actualization, and multi-faceted achievement. 

The mission of Ursinus is “to prepare students to live creatively and usefully and to provide leadership for society in an interdependent world.” The academic programs of the College are built on this mission and lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in 29 major fields and 52 minor fields. Ursinus shelters a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and its students frequently receive Fulbright Scholarships, Thomas J. Watson Fellowships, Udall Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, Kemper Foundation Scholarships, and UNCF-Merck Foundation Research Stipends. Ursinus had its first Rhodes Scholar in 2010.

the accomplishments:

During the last decade the College has achieved unprecedented growth and experienced many distinctive accomplishments, including:

Fiscal:

  • Enrollment growth from 1,300 to 1,600 students
  • $60 million College operating budget
  • Increase in net revenue per student from $18,700 to $30,300
  • 31 new tenure track positions, bringing the total faculty count to 129
  • Endowment growth from $84M to $120M
  • Annually balanced budgets
  • A Standard & Poor’s Bond Rating of A-, reaffirmed in March 2013 

Academic:

  • A focus on internships, student research, study abroad, performance, and collaboration as key features of the academic program
  • A distinctive educational program that includes emphasis on the development of character, judgment, and attention to interdisciplinary perspectives—which are evident in the new Center for Science and the Common Good and the U-Imagine! Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies 

The Campus

The 170-acre campus located 25 miles from Philadelphia has undergone considerable change as the College has invested more than $100 million in physical plant and facilities over the last dozen years in support of students, faculty, and programs. The campus now has approximately 1.25 million square feet of classroom and activity space throughout fifteen campus buildings and fifty houses used for programs or student housing.  

The Chief Information Officer: Opportunities for Leadership 

The Information Technology staff of 16 and Myrin Library’s staff of 10 operate with a combined operating budget of approximately $3 million. The majority of IT staff members are based in the Myrin Library. All staff contribute to both the academic and administrative functions of the College. Key areas for library strategic initiatives over the next several years include Open Access, Information Literacy, Collections Management, and Facilities Planning. The IT department supports the College’s long-standing laptop program, classroom technologies, event logistics, campus administrative systems, and campus networking/telecommunications. Critical projects underway include the selection of a new Student Information System and a new College website with an accompanying CMS. Other core systems are Blackboard’s LMS and Transaction System and SirsiDynix’s Symphony ILS. 

The CIO: 

  • Is the advocate for the application of technology and information throughout the College.
  • Serves as a visionary who will foster information literacy and steward future plans for the Library and IT.
  • Is responsible for all aspects of technology support and services, library support and services, audio/visual support and services, data networking, print and digital library collections, instructional technology, enterprise information systems, information access, data storage, telecommunications, and disaster recovery. 
  • Encourages members of the campus community to enhance their own skills and maximize the technology investments made by the College in both strategic and tactical ways.
  • Oversees the combined IT and Library budgets.
  • Focuses on ongoing needs for organizational development, leadership development, and creating a collaborative work environment—both within the CIO’s primary areas of responsibility and beyond as they intersect with various campus constituents.
  • Develops staff members who are adept at problem-solving, information sharing, collaboration, transferring skills, and serving as partners with the campus community.
  • Works with the campus community to develop a strategic plan for technology that supports the College’s overall strategic plan.
  • Works with appropriate governance groups to assess the current environment and to plan for future directions, including working with senior administration to define and approve campus standards and policies governing technology and information.
  • Takes overall responsibility for the integrity, security, and usefulness of the College’s technical and information infrastructure.
  • Coaches, guides, and manages staff; sets goals and conducts annual performance evaluations with all direct reports.  

The Desired Attributes for the CIO

The Chief Information Officer shall possess a record of innovative and effective ways of working with others, a positive attitude and self-image, and the courage to take risks while working to achieve stated goals. The CIO must have high professional aspirations and be willing to travel on a limited basis. The CIO must be capable of representing the College in regional and national settings. The ideal candidate must have an enthusiasm for liberal arts education and Ursinus College in particular. 

To perform the job successfully, the candidate should demonstrate the following qualities: 

  •  Ability to create an effective campus environment for the use of technology and information.
  •  Readiness to advocate for technology and to develop productive partnerships while guiding the campus community to effectively use these resources.
  •  Effectiveness in bringing people and organizations together toward common goals and cultivating teamwork, common values, and principle-based decision-making.
  •  Ability to work within a complex organizational environment that requires rational decisions and prioritizing in the face of competing demands. The CIO must demonstrate the ability to create standards, recommend policies, and shape plans that make sense to the community through appropriate communication, transparency, and stakeholder engagement.
  •  Critical, strategic, and creative thinking about the College’s use of technology and information.
  •  Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to speak in terms that people at all technical levels can understand.
  •  A professional manner in dealing with others and the ability to maintain constructive working relationships. 

Well-organized and proactive disposition, skilled at prioritizing work activities and developing realistic action plans. 

Qualifications 

  • A Master’s degree is required in an appropriate discipline.
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible leadership experience, preferably within higher education or a related setting. 
  • Demonstrated track record of working on issues related to information technology in a complex academic environment.
  • Demonstrated record of working on issues related to an academic library within a relevant institutional setting.
  • Clear understanding and appreciation of the role of the private liberal arts college and a commitment to that mission.
  • Relevant experience in hiring, training, and managing highly-skilled staff in a collegial environment.
  • Customer-service oriented.
  • Strategic nature and ability to inspire strategic thinking and planning in others.
  • Demonstrated record of effective personnel and budget management practices. 

Nominations and Inquiries 

The Chief Information Officer search committee will begin reviewing applications in March and aims to develop a list of finalists by the end of March.  Applications will be received and considered until the position is filled. However, for full consideration applications should be received by March 15th.  Applications must include a letter of interest, resume, and five professional references with email and telephone numbers (references will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant).  Applications and nominations should be sent electronically (MS Word preferred) to CIOsearch@Ursinus.edu and may be addressed to: 

Jonathan C. Ivec, CIO Search Committee Chair 
Vice President for Finance and Administration 
Ursinus College 
Collegeville, PA  19426