Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ   |   February 11, 2020

Overview

Technology at our Core.  This is one of five strategic priorities set forth in Stevens Institute of Technology’s ambitious 10-year strategic plan. A vital member of the Stevens community who will lead the visioning, design, and implementation of strategies and initiatives aimed at the fulfillment of this strategic priority is the next Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Reporting directly to the President, Stevens’ next CIO will use a strong technical background; high energy; collegial, transparent, and honest leadership; high standards of excellence, and superior team building skills to create a best-in-class Division of Information Technology. This leader will ensure the adoption and implementation of best practices in higher education information technology and innovative, agile, and flexible modalities for learning and discovery. The CIO will lead the Division of IT and collaborate with academic and administrative colleagues as Stevens achieves its goal to become a premier, student-centric, technological research university.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary in 2020, Stevens is a vibrant private research university located in Hoboken, New Jersey, overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Since its founding in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark of Stevens’ educational and research programs. The university is composed of three Schools and one College where more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate with approximately 600 full- and part-time faculty members in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment to advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront global challenges. Stevens is on a steep, upward trajectory. Stevens has experienced a 52% growth in undergraduate enrollment since 2010, coincident with a 224% increase in undergraduate applications and a 170-point increase in the median SAT score of enrolled freshmen over the same period. Stevens ranks #13 in the nation in PayScale’s midcareer salary report, and 96% of graduates accept employment, enter graduate school or secure other outcomes within six months of graduation. Total FTE graduate enrollment has grown 35% since 2010, accompanied by a 191% increase in applications and strong growth in Ph.D. enrollment. In addition, there has been a sharp increase in research awards, a significant improvement in the overall financial profile of the university. and major facilities expansions, including a new academic building which opened in Fall 2019 and a new University Center/Student Residence that is the largest higher education construction project in New Jersey history.

For more information on Stevens Institute of Technology, please visit its website.

Leadership

Dr. Nariman Farvardin, President

Dr. Nariman Farvardin is the seventh president of Stevens Institute of Technology, having joined Stevens in July 2011 after a distinguished 27-year career as a faculty member and academic administrator culminating as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Maryland. Since joining Stevens, President Farvardin has led a remarkable university-wide transformation that has resulted in a dramatic ascent in rankings and stature, enrollment growth, improved student success, alumni engagement, philanthropic support, modernized and expanded IT and campus infrastructure, and a strengthened financial profile.

Under his leadership and with broad participation by all university stakeholders, Stevens undertook the development of a 10-year strategic plan entitled, “The Future. Ours to Create.” Now in its eighth year of implementation, Stevens has met or exceeded nearly all of its midpoint goals.

President Farvardin’s leadership has resulted in significant recognition for educational innovations and transformation. In November 2019, the New Jersey Technology Council awarded President Farvardin the Innovation in Education award for Stevens ACES, an initiative to increase underrepresented minority students’ participation in STEM degrees and careers. In March 2018, he accepted the American Council on Education (ACE)/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation in recognition of the innovative and dramatic changes that Stevens has made in a relatively brief period. In September 2017, President Farvardin was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Academic Leadership Award, and Stevens was highlighted in Forbes as “The Turnaround University” and “one of the most desirable STEM colleges in the nation.” U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Colleges” edition placed Stevens at #74 among national universities, an ascent of 14 places since 2011, making Stevens among the fastest rising universities in the United States. In November 2016, President Farvardin was named “Educator of the Year” by the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, and in October 2013, he was named “CEO of the Year” for non-profit organizations by the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC), the state’s premier trade association for technology companies. In 2015, the NJTC also honored Stevens with its “Knowledge is Power” award. President Farvardin serves in leadership positions on a number of technology, higher education, and business-oriented organizations. He is also an accomplished researcher in the areas of information theory and coding, multimedia signal compression and transmission, high-speed networks, and wireless networks. He has made significant contributions to a number of communications standards and practical systems in data communication, image and video compression, and voice coding in wireless applications. He holds seven U.S. patents in data communication, image coding, and wireless communication.

He has served as Chairman of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council Task Force on Alignment of Higher Education Programs and New Jersey Workforce Needs, is a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Technology Council, the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Business Higher Education Forum.

The Opportunity

This is an ideal time to be joining Stevens. The institution has made continuous investments in its campus, teaching and learning capabilities, academic facilities, and technology and data/analytics. The CIO will play an integral part in Stevens’ plans for moving forward as academic and administrative leadership will look to the Division of Information Technology to provide the consultation, tools, and support that enable innovative teaching and learning, groundbreaking research and scholarship, and data-driven decision making.

The Chief Information Officer is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction for the institution-wide information technology program and infrastructure to meet the varied and complex needs of the campus. The CIO is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and reporting on information technology needs, trends and risks, and consulting with and advising leaders on these matters. The CIO job requires a visionary leader with sound knowledge of both the business and technical practices of research universities as well as emerging technologies, best practices, and regulatory requirements in the field of information technology.

The CIO is responsible for technology infrastructure, information security, network, ERP, tech support, card systems, communication systems, instructional technology, application development, and overseeing the implementation and change management of university-wide enterprise systems. Resource management includes large-scale staff, budget, equipment, hardware, and software. The CIO manages a staff of about 42 people and an annual operating budget of about $8 million.

The CIO must leverage collaborations and campus wide resources, engaging constituents across functions and divisions. The complexity of this job requires strong, thoughtful leadership that aligns the priorities of information technology and with Stevens’ strategies and resources.

Excellent communication skills are required to ensure key constituents are informed of and invested in the success of the Division of Information Technology, including periodic presentations to the President’s Cabinet, the Faculty, and the Board of Trustees.

Additionally, the CIO has the following responsibilities:

Transformational IT Leadership:

  • Create an IT strategic plan that ensures students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators have the tools needed to meet the current needs and strategic objectives of the institution.
  • Establish an IT governance structure that will provide feedback on future directions, priorities, and resource needs for information technology at Stevens.
  • Fulfill the IT mission and provide products and services that faculty, students, and administrative departments depend upon for their various research, learning, teaching, and business needs while bringing a deep understanding of future technology trends and acting as a proactive advisor/consultant to help constituents anticipate problems and develop solutions.
  • Provide guidance to the President and university leadership team, working closely with senior administration, academic leaders, and the campus community in defining objectives for information technology and infrastructure, while building relationships and goodwill.
  • Establish annual and long-range information technology goals, define strategies, metrics, and program services; and create maturity models and a roadmap for continual program improvements.

Build Partnerships Across Campus:

  • Promote collaborative, empowered working environments across campus, removing barriers and realizing possibilities. Implement information technology planning processes to establish an inclusive and comprehensive information technology program and infrastructure for the entire institution in support of academic, research, and administrative information systems and technology.
  • Advance the implementation of technology to further enhance Stevens’ teaching and learning environment as well as support and enable faculty research.
  • Collaborate closely with administrative leadership, deans, IT leaders, and technical experts across campus on a wide variety of technology issues that require an in-depth understanding of the IT environment in their units, as well as the research landscape and federal regulations that pertain to units across the University.
  • Manage relevant external relationships.

Strong Operational IT Leadership:

  • Assess the campus network and systems environment and make strategic decisions to advance business continuity and institutional resiliency.
  • The CIO will be joining the institution as the Workday Student schedule of deliverables is completed and will collaborate with the other executive sponsors to deliver communication, change management, and training as appropriate for the project.
  • Actively stay abreast of information security issues and regulatory changes affecting higher education at the state and national level, participate in national policy and practice discussions, and communicate to campus on a regular basis about those topics. Engage in professional development to maintain continual growth in professional skills and knowledge essential to the job.
  • Provide leadership, direction, and guidance in assessing and evaluating information technology risks and monitor compliance with established standards and appropriate policies. The CIO will increase compliance, strengthen cyber security, and minimize institutional risk.
  • Examine impacts of new technologies on the overall information technology program and infrastructure. Establish processes to review implementation of new technologies.

Lead the IT Team:

  • The CIO will continue to enhance the morale and build a sense of pride within the IT organization.
  • The CIO will inspire and lead staff to embrace collaboration, collegiality, transparency, and accountability in pursuit of superior customer service and the organizational transformation required to support the institutional goals.

The CIO will pay special attention to the core values central to Stevens:

  • Striving for excellence;
  • Acting with agility and speed;
  • Applying the highest ethical standards in all actions and decisions; and
  • Communicating with appropriate constituencies to ensure a high level of transparency.
Candidate Profile

Stevens is seeking candidates who possess a record of professional experience that demonstrates progressive responsibilities and significant senior-level management experience in a complex IT environment.

Candidates must be proven leaders demonstrating a minimum of 15 years information technology experience with at least 5 years in a significant leadership/management role managing cross functional teams in complex organizations including accountability for strategic planning and implementation, consensus building, organizational leadership, and technical performance.

The CIO will possess an in-depth understanding of a university academic environment and the roles and relationships of faculty, staff, students, and vendors. Experience developing and/or supporting information technologies in a multi-platform, distributed environment, with responsibility for networks, enterprise applications and security required.

Critical to this role is experience in striking the balance between providing a reliable and user-friendly computing environment with one that facilitates and supports University business and learning objectives and both intra- and inter-institution collaboration. Equally significant qualifications include strong integrity, a high level of energy, and exceptional interpersonal and team-building skills.

The successful candidate should be highly collegial, consultative, have the ability to develop and sustain collaborative relationships, and demonstrate commitment to cultural diversity and equal opportunity.

Candidates should demonstrate knowledge of technical and service developments for new capabilities and in-depth knowledge of operational needs and solutions, as well as a high degree of awareness of the evolving administrative, academic, and research computing landscapes.

The candidate should be skilled at communicating with a Board of Trustees and senior level leadership.

The ideal candidate will also have the following competencies, abilities, and characteristics:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Ability to present information to accurately initiate action plans;
  • Capable of working closely with technical as well as non-technical support staff, faculty, and students;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a strong commitment to quality;
  • Motivator and self-starter with the ability to consistently work on multiple tasks;
  • Ability to analyze and evaluate complex data;
  • Ability to use independent judgment and show attention to detail;
  • Experience with strategic planning; IT Governance, and organizational effectiveness;
  • Experience with partner management, establishing metrics, service marketing and management;
  • Experience with compliance, operations, and portfolio management; and
  • Ability to diagnose technical problems;
  • Experience managing and developing a large and complex staff;
  • Experience managing a large and complex budget;
  • Working knowledge of the systems and infrastructure typically used in a complex institution of higher education;
  • Working knowledge of security and network issues and challenges;
  • Experience managing incident response; and
  • A BS is required, preferably in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related major, and a graduate degree is strongly preferred.
Contact

Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. Tom Phillips, Charlotte Harris, and Andy Jordan are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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Stevens is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.