Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer

University of Massachusetts

Boston & Shrewsbury, MA   |   May 18, 2021

Institution Overview

The University of Massachusetts is a world-class public research university committed to advancing knowledge and transforming lives. Through its world-class educational programs, groundbreaking research enterprise, and its impactful community service and industry engagement activities, UMass harnesses the revolutionary spirit of Massachusetts to deliver an unparalleled student experience.

With four comprehensive campuses, a top-ranked medical school and a mission-driven law school, each campus offers a dynamic educational experience in a uniquely Massachusetts location, from the coastal town of Dartmouth to the international hub of Boston, from the vibrant mill cities of Lowell and Worcester to the bucolic hills of Amherst. Rigorous academic programs in a broad range of fields prepare students to contribute to their communities, thrive in a new economy and change the world.

In every regard, UMass is a national model of excellence for public research universities.

  • World-class education: UMass offers intellectually challenging academic programs and uniquely marketable degrees in a state with the most educated workforce and the second-highest median wages in the nation. Faculty members at UMass are engaged, accessible and focused on student outcomes, while a diverse student body encourages debate and expands cultural competency and social conscience.
  • Groundbreaking research: UMass is renowned for cutting-edge research aimed at eradicating diseases, addressing climate change, alleviating poverty and developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems. Research at UMass regularly produces new products and technologies that fuel economic growth and launch startup companies throughout Massachusetts.
  • Impactful service and engagement: As the second-largest employer in the state and the largest contributor to the Massachusetts workforce, UMass is a key economic driver in every region of the Commonwealth, generating billions of dollars in economic activity each year and proudly strengthening the social and cultural fabric of its communities. UMass also partners with dozens of companies who use campus facilities for research, development and commercialization, driving growth in emerging and established industries.
  • Spirit of Massachusetts: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to a revolutionary spirit — a relentless drive for innovation, growth and advancement, a willingness to do what’s never been done before in order to achieve the ‘impossible.’ Disrupting the status quo and driving forward progress is in the very DNA of Massachusetts, and it’s that determination that has cemented this state’s place in history and ensured its enduring leadership and success.

Reporting To President Marty Meehan

Marty Meehan is the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. On July 1, 2015, he became the university’s 27th president after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives and as chancellor of UMass Lowell.

Meehan has an abiding belief in public higher education’s power to transform lives. At his presidential inauguration on Nov. 12, 2015, Meehan pledged to fight for UMass, which he called “the most important institution in Massachusetts in the critical areas of social mobility and economic growth.”

Under Meehan’s leadership and with his support and advocacy, UMass has reached new heights and achieved historic milestones.

  • Enrollment has risen to a record 75,000 students
  • Research expenditures increased to more than $680 million
  • University-funded financial aid increased by $111 million or 47 percent with 94 percent going to Massachusetts residents.
  • UMass students received nearly $1 billion in federal, state, private, and institutional financial aid in FY20.
  • The university’s statewide annual economic impact has grown to a record $7.5 billion
  • For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report has ranked all four UMass undergraduate campuses as top-tier national universities, making UMass one of the few university systems in the nation with that distinction.
  • UMass Law, the only public law school in Massachusetts, achieved full ABA accreditation and its bar pass rates rose to the fifth-highest in New England, with an 82.6 percent pass rate for first-time test-takers in July 2019.

Born in Lowell, Meehan was one of seven children in a family where the importance of education was emphasized. After attending Lowell public schools, Meehan, a first-generation college student, graduated cum laude from UMass Lowell in 1978 with a degree in education and political science. He also earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University in 1981 and a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1986.

Meehan embraced a career in public service early in his life. He served as the deputy secretary of state for securities and corporations from 1986 to 1990. In 1991, he became first assistant district attorney for Middlesex County, managing a staff of more than 150, including 80 prosecutors, and establishing an innovative “priority prosecution” policy that targeted hardened criminals.

Seeing an opportunity to expand his public service commitment and to serve his nation, Meehan ran for U.S. Congress and was elected to represent the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. He served on the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees and established a national reputation for his legislative leadership, winning praise for his efforts to protect the public from the health risks of tobacco.

Meehan was a central figure in campaign finance reform and a major sponsor of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, known as the McCain-Feingold Bill in the Senate and the Shays-Meehan Bill in the House.

After serving 14 years in Congress, Meehan was appointed chancellor of UMass Lowell in 2007. He made quality, diversity, access and affordability keystones of his vision to raise his alma mater’s reputation and impact. During his eight-year tenure, UMass Lowell’s enrollment grew by nearly 50 percent and the university climbed into the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s best national universities rankings by improving its performance in every sphere of activity, including student success, fundraising and auxiliary revenue generation. His extraordinary achievements at UMass Lowell led to his appointment as president of the five-campus UMass system in 2015.

Meehan holds honorary degrees from Suffolk University, Green Mountain College, Shenkar College of Engineering & Design, the American College of Greece, Merrimack College, Queens University Belfast and University College Cork.

Meehan serves on the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Board of Directors, supporting APLU’s efforts to bolster research, drive engagement and enhance social and economic impact at public institutions — and to ensure that high-quality public higher education remains affordable and accessible for students of all backgrounds.  He also serves on the board of several prominent organizations, including the New England Council, and the Greater Boston Chamber Board of Directors. He has been named to the Boston Business Journal’s Power 50, a list of the most influential leaders in Greater Boston.

Role Summary

The University of Massachusetts invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President and University Chief Information Officer (CIO). The CIO will join UMass at a time of enormous opportunity and potential impact. As a forward-thinking and exceptional communicator, the CIO will provide collaborative leadership that will translate into effective policy, planning, and action, to further the goals of the University’s strategic plan and promote UMass’s role in the State of Massachusetts and the world.

The Vice President and University Chief Information Officer (CIO) will provide strategic vision and leadership to the University to advance the teaching, research, and service missions through the use of data and information technology. The CIO serves as an integral part of the university’s senior leadership team and will be charged with developing, championing, and implementing a cohesive and forward-thinking University-wide IT strategy.

As Massachusetts’ third-largest employer, with around 100,000 internal users and a global audience for research and teaching, technology is pervasive, and the CIO will be actively engaged with constituencies across and beyond the University. They will be a key strategic advisor to the President and Executive Leadership and be responsible for overseeing all technology planning and strategic initiatives. They will provide the leadership necessary to enable the university’s mission and strategic priorities and provide the necessary flexibility for the University to operate effectively and evolve in an increasingly digital and data-centric world.

The successful candidate will be a thought leader with a comprehensive approach who values innovation, possesses a passion for education and research, as well as for administrative effectiveness, and a demonstrated record of accomplishment in navigating a large and complex organization and influencing organizational change at a grand scale. They will be an inspiring leader, a dynamic, creative, and forceful advocate for change. Experience in effectively managing across a federated and decentralized structure will be an asset. Excellent relationship-building skills with a large and diverse set of stakeholders is necessary.

Respect and advocacy for diversity in all its forms, including diversity of thought and perspective, are essential attributes. The capacity to understand and embrace the mission, purpose, and culture of a public research university is essential.

The University CIO will also lead the IT Leadership Council (ITLC), comprised of CIOs from the five UMass campuses, the Associate Vice President/Deputy CIO within the President’s Office, and other senior IT leaders at the University. The Deputy CIO reports directly to the University CIO and is accountable for day-to-day operations of the University IT Services (UITS) department of 130 staff within the President’s Office and a budget of approximately $40-million.

The Opportunity

What an ideal time to be joining the University of Massachusetts and UITS. John Letchford, the previous CIO solidified UITS as a reliable and innovative partner and collaborator. Evidence of such collaborations can be found in the UITS 2020 Annual Report and includes:

  • Advances in Data Strategies and Analysis
  • Establishment of a new Wide Area Network (UMassNet)
  • Digital Integration through Dell Boomi

The next CIO will provide the dynamic leadership required to support the UMass mission and to further the strategies needed to achieve goals outlined in the strategic framework. Leading collaborative efforts among staff members, other UMass staff, and UMass campuses is essential to success. The CIO is expected to create an environment that promotes teamwork, and to work effectively and persuasively with key leaders at all UMass institutions, members of the Board of Trustees, and senior leaders at the UMass President’s Office. The CIO will provide University leaders and the Board of Trustees with strategic thinking, guidance, and general information on all areas of UMass information technology and security activities. This includes developing and presenting reports and information to the board and senior leadership as necessary.

The CIO will be responsible for the following:

  • Leadership of approximately 130 staff in the areas of Architecture and Engineering, Information Security and Delivery, Digital Transformation and Service Delivery, and ERP Applications. Oversight of budgets of 40 million.
  • Leadership of UITS strategic priorities in three broad areas: Value Creation, Resilience, and Resource Stewardship.
  • Value Creation – projects aimed at broadening meaningful access to data, increasing student enrollment and student success, and improving administrative productivity.
  • Resilience – projects aimed at strengthening business continuity and service availability and UITS IT Service Management.
  • Resource Stewardship – projects aimed at transforming architecture to prepare for further disruption in higher education and enhancing UITS workforce capabilities and management practices.
  • Communicating effectively with a broad range of constituents.

The CIO will work with campus Chancellors, CIOs, Chief Finance Officers, and other stakeholders to assess and improve the current model of providing information technology services and will play a key role in improving business process standardization, establishing robust data analytics and management programs, and exploring new ways to collaborate, consolidate, and streamline non-instructional activities.

As a key leader at UMass, the CIO will serve as a partner, trusted colleague, collaborator, and facilitator who can advance the effective and efficient use of information technology across UMass. The CIO will demonstrate the nimbleness and flexibility necessary to lead in a complex, multi-institution environment while advancing operational goals that include process standardization, data management, and consolidation or centralization of services where warranted. As an ambassador and communicator, the CIO will possess the creativity and listening skills to build relationships at all levels, within UMass, the Board of Trustees, and individual campuses, as well as externally with state legislators and organizations.

Minimum Qualifications

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

Candidates must be proven leaders demonstrating a minimum of 10 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 ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in setting and achieving strategic initiatives in a complex and changing environment; the ability to be an innovative and visionary thinker with strong leadership and communications skills; the ability to articulate a vision for UMass regarding information technology, and build an organizational structure to supports that vision; and exceptional interpersonal skills to communicate persuasively and interact with a wide variety of constituents at all levels across institutions, including members of the Board of Trustees, chancellors, and with state agencies and national organizations.

The CIO will possess a balance of highly developed management skills and leadership ability as well as a focus on service. The ideal candidate will be an expert problem solver who finds ways to address current needs while anticipating future trends in information technology, administrative operations, compliance, risk management, and academic priorities.

Ideal candidates will also possess many of the following experiences and attributes:

  • Experience working in a multi-university higher education system or experience at a large, complex, and diverse campus.
  • Knowledge and experience leading digital strategic planning and digital transformation initiatives.
  • Commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to influence and drive change at scale and influence the adoption of new strategies, and new approaches to working in a digital world
  • Comprehensive understanding of both business and academic issues related to information technology.
  • Experience developing and articulating vision and direction to diverse interest groups to achieve common goals related to information technology.
  • Experience developing, implementing, and evaluating information technology plans to achieve the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Experience working with a range of institution types.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills, strong interpersonal and relationship building skills, ability to interact effectively with a broad range of constituents.
  • Ability to function with a high degree of autonomy, creativity, and innovation, and to manage multiple tasks in a complex organization.
  • Experience managing and motivating technical staff members and managers.
  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and experience is required, and a graduate degree is strongly preferred.

To express your interest in this role please submit your materials (resume and cover letter) here.  All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.

Search Team

Tom Phillips
Managing Director
[email protected]

Hugo Fueglein
Managing Partner
[email protected]

Jeannine Sommer
Managing Associate
[email protected]

Danielle Coppola
Senior Associate and VP
[email protected]

Lane Watson
Executive Assistant
[email protected]