Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer

The University of Tennessee System

Knoxville, TN   |   June 8, 2020

The University of Tennessee invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Information Officer. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) will join the UT System at a time of enormous opportunity and potential impact. As a forward-thinking and exceptional communicator, the CIO will provide impactful leadership that will translate into effective policy, planning, and action, to further the goals of the system’s strategic plan and promote UT’s role in the State of Tennessee and the world. The UT System is embarking upon the launch of a new System-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation encompassing financial, human capital management, and student information operations, which will be transformative for the University.

About the UT System

The University of Tennessee is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin; the Health Science Center at Memphis; the Space Institute at Tullahoma; and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service.

The UT System has a presence in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Through the combined force of education, research and outreach, the University serves students, business and industry, schools, governments, organizations, and citizens statewide.

The University of Tennessee System, through its multiple campuses and institutes, serves the people of Tennessee and beyond through the discovery, communication and application of knowledge. The System is committed to providing undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs in a diverse learning environment that prepares students to be leaders in a global society. The UT System’s delivery of education, discovery, outreach and public service contributes to the economic, social and environmental well-being of all Tennesseans.

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the University of Tennessee, overseeing the educational and operational activities of the statewide University system. The 12- member board is comprised of 1 ex officio member, who is the Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Tennessee, and 11 appointed members, one of whom is a non- voting student member. The Secretary of the University is the principal staff liaison between the University administration and the Board of Trustees.

Everywhere you look, UT is making a sizeable impact in the communities it serves. Below are several examples of initiatives undertaken in the past year:

  • This past year, UT Promise was launched to promote scholarships to students at 14 high schools. To date, UT Promise has more than 4,212 first-time, full-time freshman applicants and 1,414 applications from current UT students. An endowment was created to support this endeavor, and more than $21.5 million has been raised so far.
  • In the past year, TEAM was launched to ensure work is done in the most efficient and effective manner between the UT System and its campuses and institutes. The Task force for Effective Administration and Management (TEAM) is working to ensure and to make clear why things are done a particular way. More than 50 people from all campuses are involved in this initiative.
  • In an effort to increase openness regarding information and data, UT launched Transparent UT. This included a website and online portal for individuals to submit new ideas. A “data dashboard” builds on the commitment to providing greater and easier access to information for UT’s faculty, staff, students, and the communities they serve.
  • UT has doubled down on their commitment to Mental Health and Wellness with a gathering of more than 100 people across the UT System including chief academic officers, vice chancellors, deans, faculty, and staff; student government representatives; and representatives from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. David Arnold, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators assistant vice president for health, safety and well-being initiatives, served as the keynote speaker.
  • UT had their third highest fundraising year in history and finished the year with 64,632 donors, the most donors in UT’s history. UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver announced the largest gift to its campus, a $22 million bequest from Bill and Rosann Nunnelly, for scholarships for rural students to attend UTM free of tuition, fees, room and board!

For more information on the University of Tennessee System, please visit website.

University Leadership

Randy Boyd, University of Tennessee President

Randy Boyd was appointed president of the University of Tennessee by the UT Board of Trustees March 27, 2020, following a sixteen-month period as interim president. Boyd took office Nov. 22 following the retirement of UT President Joe DiPietro. As UT’s 26th president, Boyd serves as the chief executive officer of a statewide university system. The flagship campus in Knoxville includes the Space Institute in Tullahoma and the statewide Institute of Agriculture. The UT System also includes campuses in Chattanooga and Martin; the Health Science Center in Memphis; and the Institute of Public Service. The UT System manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership.

Boyd is the founder of Radio Systems Corp., a Knoxville-based business. They have more than 800 employees, offices in six countries and produce pet related products under the brand names PetSafe, Invisible Fence and SportDOG. He also serves as chairman of Boyd Sports and is the owner of the Tennessee Smokies, Johnson City Cardinals, Greeneville Reds and Elizabethton Twins.

Boyd served as chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He was a founder and co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce, which exists to help state government and industry leaders find solutions to the biggest challenges facing rural Tennessee.

Boyd also served as Gov. Bill Haslam’s special adviser for higher education. He was the architect for Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 and was the founder and chairman of Tennessee Achieves—all initiatives aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025 and decreasing financial hardship for Tennesseans pursuing degrees.

Through his philanthropy, Boyd also supports the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Boyd Venture Challenge seed grant program for student entrepreneurs, both through the Haslam College of Business at UT Knoxville.

Boyd is the first in his family to graduate from college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on industrial management from UT Knoxville. He also earned a master’s degree in liberal studies with a focus on foreign policy from the University of Oklahoma.

Boyd and his wife, Jenny, live in Knoxville. They have two children and one grandchild.

David Miller, Senior Vice President & CFO

David L. Miller joined the University of Tennessee as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in January 2017 and was promoted to Senior Vice President and CFO in November 2019. Before joining the University of Tennessee, Miller served as vice president for administration and fiscal affairs at the University of Wisconsin System.

Miller’s 20-year tenure at the UW System includes, among other positions, serving as senior vice president for administration and fiscal affairs, associate vice president for capital planning and budget, and assistant vice president for university relations. Before transitioning to higher education, he spent time in government relations. He served the Wisconsin legislature for five years as a policy analyst and legislative aide and also worked as a legislative analyst for the Tennessee legislature.

The chief financial officer is responsible for the administration of all financial operations at the University. Primary responsibilities include the development of financial and operational strategies; budgeting, accounting and reporting of all operations; enterprise resource planning; investment of University operating and endowment funds; directing capital outlay and maintenance programs; and overseeing system-wide IT operations.

Miller has a bachelor’s degree in political science from East Tennessee State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Opportunity

What an ideal time to be joining the University of Tennessee. President Randy Boyd is developing a plan to “ignite the greatest decade in the history of the University of Tennessee”, see here. In 2019, across the UT System, total enrollment rose 1.5 percent to an all-time high of 51,582 across all campuses. UT is preparing the next generation through the combined force of education, research, and outreach.

The CIO will report directly to the Chief Financial Officer and will provide the dynamic leadership required to support the UT System mission and to further the strategies needed to achieve goals outlined in the strategic framework. Leading collaborative efforts among staff members, other UT System staff, and UT 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 UT institutions, members of the Board of Trustees, and senior leaders in the UT System. The CIO will provide University leaders and the Board of Trustees with strategic thinking, guidance, and general information on all areas of UT System 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:

  • Leading the development and implementation of system wide digital strategies based on a solid understanding of academic and administrative requirements.
  • Leading the collaboration and standardization of University IT management.
  • Ensuring the effective planning and implementation of information technology projects.
  • Partnering in the leadership and implementation of the new ERP platform.
  • Managing the ongoing support of statewide IT services and systems.
  • Leading information security best practices along with the chief information security officer, including security policy management.
  • Communicating effectively with a broad range of constituents.
  • Leadership of approximately nearly 60 staff in the areas of Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Systems and Applications, Project Management, Information Security, and a Business Office. Oversight of budgets of almost 6 million.

The CIO will also work with institutional CIOs, Chief Business Officers, and other stakeholders to assess the current model of providing information technology services and will play a key role in the development of a cloud strategy, improving business process standardization, establishing a data management program, and exploring new ways to collaborate, consolidate, and streamline non-instructional activities. As a key leader in the UT System, the CIO will serve as a partner, trusted colleague, collaborator, and facilitator who can advance the effective and efficient use of information technology across the UT System. 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. The CIO will be an active partner in leading information technology activities in the UT System with the President of the UT System, the vice presidents for Administration, Finance, Academic and Student Affairs, and University Relations. As an ambassador and communicator, the CIO will possess the creativity and listening skills to build relationships at all levels, within the UT system, the Board of Trustees, and individual campuses, as well as externally with state legislators and organizations.

Candidate Profile

The University of Tennessee 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 the UT system regarding information technology, and build a future organizational structure to support 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.

The following experiences and qualities are preferred:

  • 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.
  • 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.
About the Knoxville Community

Nestled the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is a thriving Southern city known for its great outdoors, diverse music scene, and wide variety of eateries. It is nationally known for its Urban Wilderness, located less than three miles from downtown, with more than 50 miles of natural trails. A vibrant downtown, located less than a mile from the heart of the UT campus, offers live entertainment, unique shopping and outstanding local dining and brews.

With a population at nearly 185,000, it is both the oldest and the third-largest city in the state of Tennessee; only Memphis and Nashville are larger., Knoxville is a one-hour drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the U.S. National Park Service’s most-visited site. Knoxville also is within a day’s drive or less to many major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the Atlantic coast. UT’s Neyland Stadium is one of the country’s largest sports venues.

Knoxville #8 in “America’s Favorite Places” by Travel & Leisure, #2 in “Most Affordable Cities” by Forbes, #5 for “Best Cities for Small Business” by CNN Money, and a Top 10 “Destination on the Rise” by Trip Advisor.

The State of Tennessee

Tennessee is a state with more than 6.6 million people, four large metropolitan areas, two time zones, and an economy ranked* 13th-largest in the United States. While more Tennessee jobs and economic activity today are industrial or knowledge-based than agrarian, farming and agricultural production remain fundamental to the state’s economy. Major outputs include textiles, cotton, cattle, and electrical power – thanks to being home to TVA.

From the Mississippi River on the western border, to the Appalachian Mountains on the eastern border, Tennessee spans a distance of more than 400 miles. Major geographic and cultural diversity are evident from the delta and farm areas of the west, to the rolling hills surrounding Nashville in Middle Tennessee, to the mountainous landscape of East Tennessee.

The state’s four largest cities are Memphis, metropolitan area population: almost 1.3 million; Nashville, metropolitan area population: 1.9 million; Knoxville, metropolitan area population: almost 870,000; and Chattanooga, metropolitan area population: about 550,000.

Major corporations headquartered in Tennessee include FedEx, AutoZone, International Paper, all based in Memphis; Pilot Corp., Discovery Networks, and Regal Entertainment Group based in Knoxville; Eastman Chemical based in Kingsport; Nissan’s North American headquarters in Franklin; and the headquarters of Caterpillar Financial, Bridgestone-Firestone and HCA, all based in Nashville. A large Nissan manufacturing facility has been in Smyrna since 1982. In 2015, Volkswagen announced a $17.8 million expansion of its major manufacturing facility in Chattanooga.

The University of Tennessee maintains a presence in, draws students from and boasts alumni in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Collectively, the entire state is the campus, and overseeing all UT enterprises and maintaining relationships with the University’s numerous constituencies statewide is the responsibility of the UT System president.

*Source: U.S. News and World Report Economy Rankings


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Tom Phillips and Charlotte Harris are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Compensation for this position will be competitive with comparable positions at peer institutions. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits and much more. Additionally, Tennessee residents do not pay a state income tax. For more information on the University of Tennessee’s benefits, we invite you to visit


The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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