Deputy Chief Information Officer

Deputy Chief Information Officer

Villanova University

Philadelphia, PA   |   October 12, 2020

Villanova University, a top national university in the United States is seeking an individual with expertise in leading core technical operations, a record of fostering sustainable change across an organization, experience in the successful management of large scale infrastructure projects, and a history of building bridges and partnerships to be its inaugural Deputy Chief Information Officer (Deputy CIO). Reporting to the Chief Information Officer, the successful candidate will assist the University in accomplishing its goals and objectives by bringing enthusiasm and a collaborative, creative, optimistic, and solution-oriented approach to leadership.

About Villanova University

Villanova University, a Roman Catholic institution, has been sponsored by the Order of St. Augustine since its founding in 1842. The Augustinian Order has a long history of academic achievement and scholarly leadership, with a belief in education as a community activity. Institutions affiliated with The Order of St. Augustine are committed to imbuing in students a deep respect and compassion for all people and a respect for academic freedom and open inquiry.

Villanova achieved university status in 1953 with the establishment of the College of Nursing and the School of Law. Today, the University is comprised of six colleges: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Villanova School of Business; Nursing; Professional Studies; and the Charles Widger School of Law.

Located in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, approximately 12 miles west of Philadelphia, Villanova is an independent institution offering undergraduate and graduate education. The campus sits on approximately 260 acres on Philadelphia’s Main Line. The University enrolls approximately 10,800 students, of whom approximately 6,400 are full-time undergraduates. The University remains affiliated with the Catholic Church and the Order of St. Augustine and is governed by an independent Board of Trustees. Villanova welcomes persons of all religions as members of its student body, faculty, and administration.

For more than a decade, Villanova University was ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report in the Best Universities-Masters category in the northern region. In 2016, U.S. News and World Report also ranked Villanova as 2nd for “Best Value Schools” and 4th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” in the Best Masters Universities category, Northern Region, and ranked engineering school No.11 among all national undergraduate engineering programs whose highest degree is a masters. Recently reclassified as a doctoral/research institution, Villanova has once again placed among the top national universities in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings. The Villanova School of Business is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2016 rankings of undergraduate business schools.

Villanova’s campus continues to undergo a massive transformation. In September of 2019, The Commons, a complex of 6 new residence halls, that house over 1100 students and brings student on-campus living to 85%, opened on Lancaster Avenue. A brand-new performing arts center is slated to open in 2020 and Finneran Pavilion, home to the 2016- and 2018-men’s basketball national champions reopened last year after a $65 million-dollar renovation.

Villanova employs approximately 670 full-time faculty members, 90 percent of whom hold the highest degree in their field. The University currently employs 1578 full-time and 188 part-time staff. Villanova students take part in a wide variety of student organizations and study abroad programs. The University has over 125,000 alumni living throughout the world.

In September 2019, Villanova launched “Rooted. Restless.”—Villanova University’s Strategic Plan: 2020–2030. This 10-year Strategic Plan will continue to propel the University forward to a new level of success. It will guide Villanova forward into its next era of greatness, building upon its strengths and enhancing the Villanova experience for the entire community, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, parents and friends.

For more information on Villanova University please visit their website.

University Leadership

Kelly Doney, Chief Information Officer

Kelly Doney joined Villanova University in February 2020 as the Chief Information Officer. She is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction for the University-wide information technology program to meet the varied and complex needs of the University. Among her areas of oversight are technology infrastructure, information security, network, ERP, technology support, card systems, communication systems, instructional technology, as well as web and application development.

Prior to joining Villanova, Ms. Doney was a Vice President at Ellucian. During her four-year tenure, she built a management consulting practice, created the company’s first global strategic delivery partner program, and designed Ellucian’s first Ellucian Collaboration Lab for the California Community College System. She also represented Ellucian on EDUCAUSE’s Corporate Member Advisory Committee, where she collaborated with other higher education industry leaders to bring increased value to the corporate-EDUCUASE relationship.

Before joining Ellucian, Ms. Doney was the Associate Vice President for Enterprise Applications at Georgetown University. There she established and executed the enterprise technology strategy for the university’s administrative, student, teaching/learning, constituent relationship management, institutional reporting, and research domains. Under her leadership, the university received industry recognition for being among the first to bring core administrative and teaching and learning systems to the cloud.

Ms. Doney also spent over thirteen years working for leading management consultancies including Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Consulting where she oversaw complex technology strategy, modernization, and software development programs for federal government clients. She also managed a user experience testing lab for General Electric Information Services and served as a human factors engineer and consultant for Exxon Biomedical Sciences.

Ms. Doney received her master’s degree in experimental psychology from Syracuse University, where she was a recipient of the National Institute on Aging Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from Ithaca College.

The Opportunity

Now is a good time to be joining Villanova University and University Information Technology (UNIT). The University remains financially healthy, Villanova remains an employer of choice, and UNIT is thriving under new leadership and playing an integral role in the university’s COVID operations response. The information technology team collaborated with other university leaders to run both COVID baseline and surveillance testing programs, created a university dashboard to reflect COVID-related statistics, updated classrooms with technology to support both in-person and remote learning, and provided expanded technology support for faculty, staff, and students. Continued management and development of COVID response operations will be an essential responsibility of the Deputy CIO for the duration of the global pandemic.

The Deputy CIO provides the technical leadership required to execute on the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) strategy and vision by leading the development of the core technical platforms, capabilities, and services that support campus operations. The Deputy CIO acts on behalf of the CIO in the CIO’s absence or as assigned by the CIO as the principal IT officer on executive decisions and department leadership. The Deputy CIO is charged with responsibilities for day-to-day management of an $8.1 million annual operating budget and technical operations, including managing the Enterprise Technology Services, Technology Support Services, and Campus Card Services teams, totaling 49 staff.

The Deputy CIO’s essential management functions include:

  • Technology Analysis: Assist in establishing the current and long-range direction of technology by analyzing trends and advancements and providing significant input into cost/benefit analyses to determine the financial, operational, and technical feasibility of new solutions, including cloud-based IT platform and infrastructure services. Leads the analysis of systems, hardware, and/or software under consideration for purchase or the internal design and development of such.
  • Advising and Influencing in the IT space: Dispenses technical advice, guidance, direction, and authorization to carry out major plans and procedures, and provides coaching and guidance for staff to ensure the team maintains/develops the technical skills and knowledge needed to adopt new technologies to best support university operations. Provides leadership and guidance in areas including budgeting, resource development and allocation, policy formation, technology evaluation, and service development, delivery, and deployment.
  • Project Management: Works across all IT subdivisions within the central IT division as well as with decentralized IT teams to coordinate the detailed design, development, support, and maintenance of technology projects. Oversees cross-institutional initiatives and executive level projects, fostering strategic partnerships in addressing enterprise-wide technology needs.
  • Strategic Leadership: Provides strategic leadership and guidance at the executive level in critical areas of technology operations and administration. Establishes, enhances, and maintains effective relationships and communication with all University constituents including developing needed resolution mechanisms to maximize desired results and minimize any potential conflict. Prioritizes enterprise solutions over local solutions and understands how to engage Information Security to protect the enterprise.
  • Partner to the CIO: Serves on behalf of the CIO as the principal IT Officer, in the CIO’s absence or as requested and represents IT in University collaborations. Assists the CIO in leading overall information technology strategic planning to achieve University goals by prioritizing information technology initiatives and coordinating the evaluation, deployment, and management of current and future technology projects. Assists the CIO in governance oversight, project and portfolio management, and service delivery management.
  • IT Service Delivery: Leads the development and implementation of best practices and standards in process, design, architecture and operations of all aspects of information technology delivery. Directs programs to monitor, evaluate, and improve customer service delivery. Promotes the interfacing and control of the organization’s present technology and the dissemination of technological information and direction throughout the organization.
Candidate Profile

Villanova is seeking candidates who possess the ability to establish a sense of connectedness within their department and across the university/organization. Strong candidates will be creative, forward thinking, and strategic in their solutions. They will be skilled relationship builders – able to influence at all levels and inspire drive and accountability in their team. They will be proactive, inquisitive, and analytical business partners.

The ideal candidate will have all or many of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and experiences:

  • Knowledge of current trends and developments in information technology;
  • Experience with IT Service Delivery models and technologies;
  • Experience with disaster recovery and business continuity planning;
  • Experience planning, designing, and executing complex network and infrastructure design projects; and
  • Experience managing technology operations including:
    • Data and voice networks
    • Wireless device management
    • Network, system, and infrastructure operations
    • End user support
    • Physical access control systems (e.g., campus card)

A bachelor’s degree is required, and an advanced degree is strongly preferred. A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification or equivalent is desired. Experience working within higher education and knowledge of trends in high performance and/or research computing are each a plus.


Villanova University has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Tom Phillips, Managing Director, and Josyanne Roche, Consultant, are leading this search. Please submit a compelling letter of interest and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential. ……………..

Villanova University is an equal opportunity employer and educational institution. There shall be no discrimination against any employee, applicant for employment or any student on any basis prohibited by law, including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status (disabled or Vietnam era), or disability. This non-discrimination policy applies to all educational policies and programs and to all terms and conditions of employment, which include (but are not limited to): recruitment, hiring, training, compensation, benefits, promotions, disciplinary actions and termination.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit