Vice President, Information Technology & Global University Chief Information Officer
New York University, the largest private university in the United States, invites nominations and applications for the role of Vice President, Information and Global University Chief Information Officer (CIO).
NYU’s Information Technology organization provides a wide array of technologies and services to the 18 schools and colleges as well as the administrative units across the university’s global network of campuses, with four-year “portal” campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, and global academic centers in Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. This central IT group provides support and maintains relationships and collaborations with the individual IT organizations in each of the schools and colleges.
The University seeks a CIO to establish a cohesive strategy that combines the University’s centralized services and coordination with shared technology responsibility across a federated model to support the University’s missions. She/he will continue the IT organization’s strong foundation for the future, executing on technology improvements that drive efficiency and provide the platform for transformation. The Global CIO will be strong at building stakeholder relations with faculty, administrators, students, and the IT community to deliver the services in a client-focused mindset. She/he will be a strong people leader to provide the vision, strategic alignment, and team leadership to guide the central IT organization toward best-in-class service delivery meeting the priorities and needs of the global users.
About New York University
Founded in 1831 with a mission to be a center of higher learning that would be open to all, regardless of national origin, religious beliefs, or social background, New York University is today one of the largest private universities in the United States and a leader in global education. From a student body of 158 during NYU’s very first semester, enrollment has grown to more than 60,000 students. Today, students come from every state in the union and from 133 foreign countries. NYU’s alumni community is nearly 470,000 strong and spans a global network of 183 foreign countries in addition to the United States.
NYU was founded as a University “in and of the city,” and its main campus location in the heart of one of the most diverse, internationally vibrant, and multicultural cities in the world yields unmatched opportunities.
NYU is a research university with 18 schools and colleges. Its trajectory and emergence as one of the leading research universities in the world is unprecedented—in 2014, the Middle States evaluation team described NYU as “one of the great success stories in American higher education.” NYU has demonstrated a commitment to institutional excellence across every dimension: program reputation, global reach, faculty eminence, research portfolio breadth and depth, and the strength of its academic departments.
As a global institution, NYU has degree-granting campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, alongside twelve global academic centers of undergraduate study on six continents – Accra, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, London, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. Nearly half of NYU undergraduates study abroad at some point in their career, and the number increases each year.
NYU has an annual budget of $3.6 billion and an endowment of $5.4 billion. Although the University is more tuition-dependent than its peers, as it has the one of the smallest endowments per student of any major private university, it remains firmly committed to access and opportunity. In 2016, President Andrew Hamilton launched an Affordability Committee and Working Group to develop creative initiatives to make NYU more affordable to all potential learners. Through these efforts, in recent years NYU’s undergraduate fees and charges have dropped from the fourth highest in the country to 52nd.
NYU is characterized by its commitment to academic excellence, entrepreneurial spirit, and creative innovation. Its schools and colleges encompass the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, performing and fine arts, public administration, engineering, social work, and continuing and professional studies. Its renowned faculty includes recipients of Nobel, Pulitzer, and Abel Prizes; Academy, Grammy, and Tony Awards; National Medals for Science and the Arts; and the MacArthur Fellowship, among many others. Thriving beyond borders and across academic disciplines, NYU has emerged as one of the most networked and extensive worldwide platforms for learning, teaching, researching, building knowledge, and inventing new ways to meet humanity’s challenges.
NYU INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The global university depends on the IT organization’s services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Regardless of where NYU community members may be physically located or what task they need to accomplish, NYU IT is fully committed to delivering excellent service. NYU IT is responsible for all networking infrastructure, application development, enterprise system operation and support, data storage and protection, global computing services, and the security and privacy of networks, servers, endpoints, and data. Additionally, NYU IT provides innovative technology services through strategic collaboration with school-based teaching and learning technology and research computing.
NYU IT’s staff includes over 400 employees and additional contract personnel. The annual IT operating budget is approximately $120 million, and the University’s current capital plan provides for annual equipment refresh totaling over $250 million over the next ten years.
In recent years, NYU IT has undertaken a journey to build a strong IT foundation for the future. To support this evolution, NYU IT’s focus has been on improving the foundational technology while taking advantage of opportunities to capture efficiencies that provide the resources to help fuel and fund the transformation that directly supports NYU’s strategic goals and mission.
The projects recently completed and now underway include the following:
In addition to NYU IT’s responsibilities and activities at the University level, there is a vast network of resources, experiences, local contexts, and possibilities within the schools and administrative units – all eager to engage, collaborate, and succeed.
The “School Technology Leads” within schools and administrative units provide leadership and coordination in identifying, exploring, and executing school-wide and inter-school initiatives and opportunities to improve institutional efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of experience. Collectively they have hundreds of employees and their own operating budgets that support school and unit functions and make unit-affecting decisions, separate from NYU IT. Each of the schools has varying levels of IT capacity and professional staff, including educational technologists, client services, local systems and servers, and web services. NYU IT does not provide IT services to NYU’s Langone Health medical center, although they support its network infrastructure.
NYU IT is both a partner and provider of services across NYU’s global network. NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, each with over 1500 students, maintain local IT operations but are supported by enterprise systems, IT security and other services provided by NYU IT. Each of the smaller global campus locations have IT environments that have been built by and are supported by NYU IT.
NYU IT has focused on fostering relationships and increasing touch points and collaborations with these critical stakeholders and partners. NYU IT partners with: research stakeholders in the Research Technology Faculty Advisory Board (FAB); teaching and learning stakeholders in the Faculty Committee on the Future of Technology-Enhanced Education (FTEE); School and unit IT stakeholders in the University CIO Council; and administrative stakeholders in various governance groups. NYU IT is also invested in the development of student programs and TorchTech, an online community.
NYU will also be preserving or investing in many of the adaptations we made to digital teaching and learning during COVID. NYU anticipates significant increases in digitizing materials for both online and in-person classes, an increase in online classes for undergraduates across many schools, and an increase in the number of fully online degrees, especially Master’s degrees. The CIO will help coordinate those efforts between IT, the Library, the Provost’s Office, and school-based teams.
One integral aspect of fostering a strong IT community is making sure University researchers, administrators, and instructors have access to the data they need. Along with key innovations in access to institutional data, NYU IT has launched several new initiatives to deliver services that enable NYU scholars to conduct transformative research and scholarship. NYU IT has recently implemented Greene, the most powerful supercomputer in the New York metropolitan area, one of the top ten most powerful supercomputers in higher education, and one of the top 100 greenest supercomputers in the world. The Greene HPC cluster bolsters research at NYU across a wide range of disciplines including biomolecular genetics, the political ramifications of social media behavior, artificial intelligence, and so much more. These resources are connected by a dedicated High-Speed Research Network. NYU is creating a world-class space, both online and in the physical world, for NYU researchers.
The Role of the Global University CIO
Technology has evolved from a tool to an integral part of the University that includes not just researchers but also faculty, administrators, students, and applicants. Everything in our world and the university has a technology component, therefore the key is making technology easy and available, while keeping up with technological advances, managing efficiency, ensuring security, and providing accessibility. At NYU, this also includes supporting the IT community located in schools and campuses around the globe.
Over the last few years, NYU IT has been undergoing foundational technology improvements, with many strategies and plans already in place. The Global CIO is responsible for review and execution of these projects while developing the broad aggressive strategies for IT to support the University. Inherent to the role is understanding IT throughout the University and building relationships with the technology leaders in the schools and administrative units to set up a well-defined structure of shared or separate duties and responsibilities. The Global CIO takes a customer-focused approach to delivering services, understanding what users need, and the impact of decisions on users. She/he provides strong leadership to the central IT organization to provide alignment to the vision, clear priorities, efficient operations, and open communications, internally and externally.
A strong people leader with a holistic approach to employee recruitment, retention, and development, the Global CIO values innovation and effectively communicates strategic direction, with an understanding of how to motivate and organize a team to cohesively deliver on execution. She/he is a champion of a diverse, inclusive and welcoming community. The Global CIO facilitates and maintains strong relationships and partnerships across the entire organization, with an appreciation for the diversity among the various schools and units. This individual understands the role of central IT in working within and supporting a federated IT service model and how to foster a new vision of this model that plays to individual and collaborative strengths. Through strong stakeholder relationship building, the Global CIO inspires trust and confidence among all the various constituents, including faculty, staff, students, researchers, alumni, laureates, and others.
The Global CIO leads a large team of 400 employees plus contractors with AVP direct reports.
Opportunities and Challenges
Organizational Alignment / Size and Distribution of the University
NYU is everywhere and everything: global and local, centralized, and decentralized; technical, legal, medical, artistic, managerial, philosophical, financial, entrepreneurial, etc. There is an abundance of resources and unrealized opportunities throughout the University. The Global CIO ensures service delivery across this breadth and scope of user needs. As the nation and university has shifted from solely on-premise to hybrid combinations of in-person and remote workers and learning, NYU IT is evolving its strategy, processes, and policies to support the mix of global users.
Federated Model Leadership
NYU functions in a federated model that has improved and innovated at both the local and University level. NYU IT supports the model with services, processes, policies, governance, and community building so that the entire IT ecosystem can deliver to meet unique user needs. The model includes leveraging systems, data infrastructure, and technology capabilities across central IT, schools, and administrative units to support the unified mission of the University. This involves building collaboration and efficiency across the federated system, rationalizing service delivery structures, developing consistent processes, and establishing governance for determining strategies for IT investment and priorities. NYU IT sets the standards for service delivery, providing communications on services available and transparent measurements of service quality. Data governance is managed in the federated model in collaboration with the Institutional Research group at NYU – which is not part of NYU IT – to ensure policies, processes, and technology are in place to manage access to data with security and privacy. Ultimately, NYU IT brings a client-service focused mindset to meeting the technology requirements with and through the federated model.
Relationship Building, Collaboration
Building relationships with global stakeholders including faculty, researchers, administrators, students, and IT communities throughout the University is key to this role. At the core, the Global CIO is visible, engaged, collaborative, and customer focused – leading the IT organization to deliver IT in the same manner, listening to and understanding the needs of all community members and stakeholders at all levels. The Global CIO role entails a series of constant and diverse engagements with university stakeholders requiring polished soft skills and a dedication to suggesting improvements, attaining buy-in, and working collaboratively towards mutually agreed upon goals.
Service Delivery and User Experience
Maintaining focus on user experience is critical for NYU IT as well as the schools and administrative units. Although NYU is one University, each school or college of NYU prides itself on having a unique brand and set of programs, academic offerings, and support services targeted to its faculty, student, and staff community. As might be expected, there are vast differences of IT needs and capabilities across individual communities. Each school or college maintains a local IT presence which has formed over time to meet the individual needs and expectations of its community that are competitive with peer organizations outside NYU. The CIO brings a strong sense of client and user focus to each project or initiative, seeking to deliver improved services and capabilities while enabling easier access and transparent, simple technology to each user community.
The CIO at NYU is focused on innovation while simultaneously fostering a culture of effective and efficient management, operations, and use of technology resources. There are many demands on NYU IT, compounded by IT needs during the pandemic, which may lead to the risk of stress, burnout, and turnover among the staff. The CIO must bring a steadying, motivating, and constructive hand, providing coaching and mentorship to NYU IT managers to create a collaborative and mutually supportive environment within and between the departments of NYU IT.
The CIO will address current IT initiatives underway as well as other organizational needs for a mature multi-cloud environment that can support infrastructure and application services for the various schools without taking away the autonomy necessary for their service models to keep delivering value to their users. As in all IT systems, security is paramount. The CIO will oversee the continued execution of prioritized risks, identified in the cyber roadmap 2020, with an emphasis on securing systems in decentralized environments. This involves global data privacy, HIPAA, changing global regulations, and policies for secure data storage and sharing data while protecting it, as well as data governance across decentralized environments. The CIO needs to provide metrics on the quality of technology improvements and their effects on daily IT operations.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
NYU has been a leader in fostering a more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for staff and faculty, as well as students. The CIO has an opportunity to continue this work and ensure that its staff are representative of and identify with the NYU culture of inclusivity. The CIO will work toward diversity in recruiting, retaining, and supporting staff and will integrate a culture of equity into all aspects of the IT departments, including accessibility for disabled and disadvantaged users of technology and making technology affordable for lower income students.
Desired Qualifications and Characteristics
The CIO role at NYU is a fantastic opportunity to lead IT strategy and execution, while providing team leadership working across a community of IT, for one of the largest and most impactful private universities in the United States. NYU is one of the leading research universities in the world with global reach and campuses and has IT at the foundation, with advanced high speed computing facilities, cloud services, and teaching and learning systems meeting the needs of colleges at the forefront of their specialties. It is a fast-paced institution looking for a strong CIO with vision and leadership for the future of IT.
The ideal CIO will bring the following professional experiences and personal qualities to the role:
15 years' relevant experience
NYU aims to be among the greenest urban campuses in the country and carbon neutral by 2040. Learn more at nyu.edu/nyugreen.