Organization: University of Puget Sound

Location: Tacoma, WA

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About University of Puget Sound:

Founded in 1888, University Puget Sound is a residential, national liberal arts college in Tacoma’s North End neighborhood, with approximately 2,550 undergraduate students and 220 graduate students. Students come from 47 states and 12 countries and choose from over 50 programs and 1,200 courses. The Puget Sound experience is focused on the reciprocal nature of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and experiential learning. The student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1. Nearly 70% of students live on campus.

University of Puget Sound defines itself in part by its sense of place. It is the only national, independent undergraduate liberal arts college in Western Washington, and one of only five in the Pacific Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the country’s most prestigious academic honor society. Tacoma is an urban center with a strong sense of community and a population of 200,000. Its location offers easy access to Seattle to the north and the capital city of Olympia to the south, as well as proximity to mountain ranges, ocean beaches, and rain forests, all of which present ample opportunities for recreation, research, and experiential learning.

Puget Sound enjoys an outstanding academic reputation, a strong faculty, and talented and engaged students. It is one of only 40 schools in the nation included in Colleges That Change Lives. Forbes magazine named Puget Sound one of the “Top 20 Most Entrepreneurial Colleges” in the country and Princeton Review identified Puget Sound as among the top 20 “best science lab facilities” and having the “most accessible professors.” Puget Sound is consistently among the leading small schools producing Peace Corps volunteers. Puget Sound is among the top producers of graduates who go on to earn doctorates and its students are frequent recipients of national academic honors, including Fulbright Fellowships, Watson Fellowships, and more.

Puget Sound has made significant investments in technology over many years to meet educational, administrative and residential needs. The university utilizes Moodle as its learning management system and has more than 100 e-classrooms and several computer labs. It utilizes PeopleSoft as its enterprise administrative and student information system and recently implemented an industry-leading integrated portal tailored for primary user groups. A number of best of breed software solutions are in place for specialized functions, several in the cloud. Microsoft Office Suite and Exchange provide office software, email, calendaring, and collaboration tools. Wired and wireless network connectivity is available in all buildings. A secure virtual desktop environment provides anytime, anywhere access to software and data. Nearly all servers on campus are virtualized. The telephony system is voice over IP. The centralized Technology Services team offers a wide range of support and services for faculty, students, and staff. A number of functional areas have developed technology expertise to provide a level of localized support. Much has been accomplished and many interesting projects are on the horizon.

In its 127 years, Puget Sound has had only 13 presidents, demonstrating leadership strength and commitment to mission and institutional success. President Ronald Thomas will conclude his 13 years of service on June 30, 2016.

There is no lessening of energy and ambition at Puget Sound as the university conducts a national search for its next president and its next CIO.

For more information on University of Puget Sound, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for Technology Services (CIO) is an intensively collaborative, entrepreneurial, and creative leader with a clear understanding of and passion for the residential liberal arts mission. This leader will work with the campus community to guide, shape, share, and implement a vision for information and communication technologies to achieve Puget Sound’s goals and objectives.

The CIO’s primary role is to sustain institutional focus on information technologies that advance the mission and strategic goals of the University of Puget Sound. The CIO provides vision, leadership, and management of information technology for the entire campus community. The CIO is responsible for the support of faculty, students, and staff in their use of technology; the acquisition and support of academic and administrative applications; and the development and support for infrastructure services, including networking, servers, storage, copy and printing, telecommunications, and web services.

The CIO reports directly to the Vice President for Finance and Administration while providing campus-wide leadership for technology and working closely with other senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students. The CIO leads a Technology Services team of 34 staff and over 50 student staff members and effectively manages an annual budget of approximately $6.2 million. The CIO is a member of the President’s LEAD administrative group and the Finance and Administration leadership team, and also meets periodically with the President’s Cabinet.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates campus-wide technology, strategic and tactical planning, and ensures the delivery of high-quality academic, co-curricular and administrative technologies, voice communications, web infrastructure, networking services, and print and copy services.
  • Leads the campus community in discussing, understanding, prioritizing, planning for, applying, and refreshing the use of technology to advance the mission. Initiates and fosters communication within the campus community.
  • Aligns the goals, resources, and activities of the Technology Services team with the academic mission, strategic goals, and technology needs of the university community.
  • Ensures that faculty, students, and staff are appropriately supported in their use of technology. Provides services and resources to enhance teaching, learning, digital scholarship, and research.
  • Considers input from user groups and evaluates and recommends policies and investment decisions related to technology.
  • Leads and collaborates to implement easy-to-use, secure, reliable, integrated, innovative, effective, and affordable solutions.
  • Organizes, develops, coaches, motivates, inspires, and evaluates staff to ensure excellent service and the attainment of university goals.

Develops and manages appropriate relationships with vendors and other external partners, including contract negotiation for acquisition, maintenance, and other services.

Candidate Profile:

The CIO will have a significant track record of successful, progressive, and applicable experience in the leadership and management of information technology services with at least five years of senior-level management experience, working with a broad array of technologies. This leader will have a strong understanding of the principles of management information systems and a clear vision of the comprehensive role of information technology in higher education, including academic programs, student and alumni services, and administrative functions. A demonstrated understanding of Puget Sound’s mission and a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness is required. Integrity and the highest ethical and professional standards are essential. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

In addition, the ideal candidate will have the following competencies and characteristics:

Technology Expertise and a Commitment to Quality

  • The CIO is passionate about technology and open to new ideas and innovations in the field, while at same time being able to discern what makes sense for Puget Sound given overall goals and resources. The CIO will be relied upon to provide context for decisions involving technology at Puget Sound.
  • Meaningful knowledge of academic technologies, complex administrative systems, data analytics, information security, networking, servers, web technologies, telecommunications, user support services, and disaster recovery/business continuity.
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of, and experience with, the various aspects of information technology, including trends, applications, and currently available technology. The CIO will maintain currency with new and developing technologies in order to keep Puget Sound appropriately positioned over the long term.
  • A strong commitment to continuous improvement and demonstrated experience in providing high-quality, user-oriented service.
  • Able to engage the campus community in continuing exploration and discussion of information technology.

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

  • A highly experienced manager with senior-level background in strategic planning and implementation of major technological shifts. The CIO will effectively develop, mentor, and supervise a professional technical staff and will be proactive in partnering with others to address the human impact of technological change on campus members.
  • An enthusiastic and innovative team player with proven technical, managerial, and large-scale IT strategic planning competencies to serve a community with diverse needs and a multi-platform environment.
  • A strategic thinker with the vision, capacity, and experience to understand and balance a complex array of constituent needs and to align those needs with effective solutions. The CIO will have the perspective to consider the impact of decisions, plans, and programs on the university, and make sound recommendations accordingly.
  • A visionary leader that will work with others to imagine new ways that technology and collaborations can effectively (and cost-effectively) support teaching, learning, and scholarship in a manner consistent with mission and goals.
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, project management and budget management skills. Must have the ability to assess and diagnose critical areas for attention, develop strategies, and then translate those into concrete action. A decisive, “roll-up-the sleeves,” results-oriented manager who is able to keep multiple projects moving forward within a consistent strategic framework and within time and financial budgets.
  • A proven ability to mentor and develop leadership management abilities and to attract, retain, develop, and motivate a strong technology team to achieve high levels of performance.

Communication, Collaboration, and Relationship Building

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, superb listening skills, and the ability to build community both inside and outside Technology Services. The CIO will have the ability to speak to all audiences clearly, using easy-to-grasp, accessible language to translate technical data to individuals who have different levels of expertise working with computers and related technologies.
  • The ability to work effectively in a highly collaborative and collegial environment, one that is process-oriented but not bureaucratic.
  • Demonstrated ability to connect with and build bridges among various constituencies of the institution, including students, faculty, staff, cabinet, trustees, alumni, and other stakeholders. The CIO will work across divisions, identifying dependencies and opportunities for the benefit of the university as a whole.
  • Self-reliant person who can handle conflict, foster understanding, and advance ideas. This includes having and projecting confidence, as well as the ability to communicate candidly the realities inherent in achieving technology goals.
  • The ability to work successfully and collaboratively in a complex and fluid environment demanding flexibility, resilience, outstanding judgment, prioritization, people skills. The CIO will have the ability to know when to act with a sense of urgency and when to be patient.
  • The CIO will be analytical and creative, capable of finding and implementing fresh and effective solutions.


University of Puget Sound has exclusively retained Koya Leadership Partners for this search. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Alexandra Corvin. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials through Koya’s online link: or email Michelle and Alex at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Alexandra “Alex” N. Corvin
Senior Manager

University of Puget Sound is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity. Puget Sound seeks diversity of identity, thought, perspective, and background in our students, faculty and staff. See Puget Sound’s Diversity Statement here:

All offers of employment are contingent on successful completion of a background inquiry.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, education institutions, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit