Organization: University of North Carolina General Administration

Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Express Interest

The University of North Carolina General Administration (UNC-GA) seeks a collaborative and experienced technology leader to join the leadership team as Vice President for Information Technology (VPIT) and Chief Information Officer (CIO). Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Budget, the VPIT is responsible for oversight of the information technology operations of UNC-GA, including but not limited to information technology policy and standards, information security, enterprise business systems, applications development, information technology infrastructure and operations, networking and communications, and software licensing. The VPIT will be a proven information technology professional with strong communication skills and will create transparent and effective partnerships that advance the educational and service missions of the UNC system and its constituent institutions. The VPIT is a member of the Senior Vice President’s leadership team, s/he will participate collaboratively with this team, and be an important resource to the President and Board of Governors.

University of North Carolina System:

With a mission to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society, the multi-institution University of North Carolina (UNC) system is a leader in U.S. higher education. In 1795, UNC became the first public university in the United States to open its doors to students. Today, the system encompasses 17 distinct institutions, including elite research universities, leading liberal arts institutions, five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a world-class arts conservatory, a residential high school for gifted math and science students, and a university founded to educate American Indians. Together these institutions contribute to the state; generate intellectual talent, research output, and jobs; and teach and train the next generation of North Carolina citizens. Nearly 225,000 students are enrolled on its 17 campuses and each year, more than 30,000 students graduate from over 200 academic degree programs. Further information about the constituent institutions is available here.

The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions.” It elects the president, who administers the University. The 28 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four- year terms. Each of the UNC constituent institutions is led by a chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president’s nomination, and is responsible to the president. Each university has a board of trustees consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the State Legislature and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio. Each board of trustees holds extensive powers over academic and other operations of its campus on delegation from the Board of Governors. For more information about the Board of Governors and its members, please see

UNC General Administration houses the offices of the President and other senior administrative officers of the multi-campus University of North Carolina. This core administrative staff is responsible for executing the policies of the UNC Board of Governors and providing university-wide leadership in the areas of academic affairs, business and financial management, long-range planning, student affairs, research, legal affairs, and government relations. UNC General Administration also has administrative oversight of a number of University affiliates, including UNC-TV, the North Carolina Arboretum, the NC State Education Assistance Authority, the NC State Approving Agency, the UNC Press, and Go Global NC.

North Carolina has long been known for a visionary approach to higher education. A sustained commitment to college access, cutting edge research, and public service has built the University of North Carolina into one of the best public higher education systems in the country. To ensure the sustainability of its place as a premier public higher education system, UNC has engaged in a strategic planning process designed to focus the university system on a new set of system-level goals that strengthens its institutions, improves student outcomes, and expands access to affordable high-quality degrees. The strategic planning process will be guided by the following priorities:

  • Access: The UNC system must continue its proud heritage of access and student diversity;
  • Affordability and Efficiency: Ensure a UNC education is within the financial means of all in the state;
  • Student Success: Increase degree attainment and ensure value and relevance for students;
  • Economic Impact and Community Engagement: Deepening partnerships that strengthen local communities and the state’s economy;
  • Excellent and Diverse Institutions: Help institutions achieve excellence within individual missions.

UNC-GA Finance and Administration Division:

The Finance and Administration Division operates as staff to the Board of Governors and the President in their financial management of the UNC system. This includes the areas of budget development and execution, facilities, human resources, information technology, property, capital construction, debt management, procurement policy, tuition and fee development, efficiency efforts, and analysis of policy changes with a fiscal impact. Budget priorities are currently directed toward support of the UNC strategic plan, which calls for increased transparency and accountability in system spending and student outcomes; investments in initiatives that fuel student success and grow the economy; and empowering individual institutions with more flexibility in exchange for greater accountability.

UNC-GA Office of Information Technology:

The UNC-GA Office of Information Technology provides information technology services to three primary constituencies, the management and staff of UNC General Administration (UNC-GA), the seventeen constituent institutions within the University of North Carolina system, and the growing population of on-line and distance education students in NC.  These three roles require different methods to deliver IT services:

  • Serving UNC-GA by providing IT support for workstations, networking, security, training, consulting, utility electronic mail, calendaring, and general availability of all support technologies.
  • Serving the constituent UNC institutions through coordination and collaboration, which results in the promotion and creation of a synergistic relationship offering a better suite of IT services than could be provided by an individual institution without benefit of the best practices offered by the others. Three primary groups, comprised of campus representatives, are the CIO Council, the Shared Services Alliance, and the Information Technology Security Council.
  • Serving the NC on-line and distance education students through the development and delivery of effective, reliable, and intuitive student administrative software applications.

The Office of Information Technology has 48 professional, paraprofessional, and support positions that provide a full spectrum of services covering enterprise reporting and data systems, information security and privacy, infrastructure, applications and user support, and other information technology services. Information Technology has an annual budget of approximately $6 million (including personnel.)

University of North Carolina Leadership:

Margaret Spellings, President

Nationally known as an education thought leader and public policy expert, Spellings most recently served as President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, where she planned, managed, and implemented programs on economic growth, education reform, global health, and special initiatives focused on women and military service. Prior to that, Spellings served as President and CEO of Margaret Spellings & Company and as President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the U.S. Secretary of Education, overseeing the creation of the Spellings Commission Report on Higher Education, which recommended a national strategy to guide colleges and universities in preparing students for the 21st-century workforce, and implementing No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). From 2001 to 2005, she was Chief Domestic Policy Advisor for President George W. Bush. Before her service in the White House, Spellings was senior advisor to then-Governor Bush of Texas, led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards, and held key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature.

Spellings is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also received an honorary doctorate and Distinguished Alumna Award from the university in 2006.

Jonathan Pruitt, Senior Vice President for Finance and Budget

Jonathan Pruitt is the Senior Vice President for Finance and Budget at UNC General Administration. In this role, Mr. Pruitt serves as Chief Financial Officer for the UNC System. His primary responsibilities are the development and execution of the UNC System’s unified budget, tuition and fees, capital construction, real estate, debt management, investments, efficiency and effectiveness initiatives, economic and financial analysis, business services, human resources, and the information technology of UNC General Administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Centre College and an M.P.A. from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

Chapel Hill was created to serve the University community and traces its origins to the establishment of the university by the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793. Today, it is a multicultural university town that is home to a resident population of 59,000, quality schools, a lively arts and cultural scene, and top-ranked medical facilities. Hailed as “America’s Foodiest Small Town” by Bon Appetit Magazine, Chapel Hill is rapidly becoming a hot spot for pop American cuisine. Along with Durham and Raleigh, Chapel Hill forms the Research Triangle, a growing metropolitan area of more than one million people that provides a wide range of cultural, recreational, and educational opportunities and one of the nation’s fastest-growing high-tech centers.

Centrally located in the state, Chapel Hill offers a convenient departure point for day trips to explore all that the state of North Carolina has to offer — from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic coastline. Coupled with mild climate and affordability, North Carolina is a deservedly desirable place to live.

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Finance & Budget, the VPIT role has a dual focus on internal information technology operations of the UNC General Administration and on externally facing activities related to the 17 constituent institutions. Internally, emphasis will be on the strategic oversight and management of information technology operations for UNC-GA and its affiliated entities in the areas of policy development, technology planning, enterprise business systems, applications development, networking and communications, infrastructure and operations, and information security. This includes closely partnering with the UNC-GA’s academic affairs unit for technology solutions that focus on supporting the instructional mission.

Additionally, a significant focus will be on system-wide coordination and monitoring of constituent institution activities related to information technology standards, software licensing and collaborations, shared services, and enterprise data management. As liaison between the Chief Information Officers of the constituent institutions and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the VPIT will assist UNC-GA leadership in communicating and monitoring initiatives from the President, Board, and North Carolina state government. S/he will work collaboratively with senior officers of UNC-GA and the constituent institutions in assuring a robust, resilient, and secure set of information technology capabilities for the University. The VPIT will oversee efforts in strategic sourcing and implementation of information technology software, solutions, and services that provide improved economies of scale for General Administration and the constituent institutions compliant with State of North Carolina purchasing guidelines and with industry best practices. S/he will also provide system-level oversight and support to the information technology activities of the constituent institutions aligned with legislative authority and the priorities of the President and the Board of Governors.

The VPIT leads an organization of approximately 48 full-time professional, paraprofessional, and support employees with direct supervisory responsibility for the Associate CIO Application Systems and Chief Technology Officer UNC Online; the Information Security Officer; the Director of Remote Database Administrative Services; the Director of Hosting Infrastructure and Operations; the Director of Data Warehousing and Online Services; and the Business Officer. The VPIT will take a hands-on approach to problem solving and assume a leadership role building a collaborative team, developing the UNC-GA information technology staff, and mentoring managers within the work unit.

Of particular focus for the VPIT will be:

Developing and communicating UNC-GA IT strategy and resources to align with University System strategic objectives as outlined here; Leading UNC-GA data modernization efforts as outlined in the 2017-2019 Budget and Policy Priorities approved by the Board of Governors in January 2017 and funded by the North Carolina General Assembly in the Appropriations Act of 2017; Leading UNC-GA cybersecurity strategy and implementation; Leading UNC-GA IT through a new zero-based budgeting effort.

Qualifications and Experience:

The ideal candidate will be a proven information technology leader with a minimum of ten (10) years of progressive experience in information technology policy and planning, enterprise applications development, project management, and cultivating and sustaining collaborative partnerships to advance strategic technology goals. Experience with senior-level information technology management in a substantially similar public sector or higher education setting is highly preferred. A Bachelor’s degree is required; preference will be given to candidates with a Master’s degree in computer science, information technology, business administration, higher education administration, public administration or other field relevant to the responsibilities of the position.

Candidates must have a proven ability to provide creative solutions and leadership in a dynamic, complex environment and work collaboratively and collegially across divisions with multiple constituents to meet a variety of shifting priorities and time sensitive deadlines. Candidates should be experienced in working with a governing board and in articulating technical and strategic ideas comprehensibly to multiple audiences. Candidates should have a strong understanding of and an appreciation for the distinct research, teaching and public service missions of a public university in a highly regulated political environment and for the intricacies involved in a system with multiple institutions with diverse populations and missions.

The successful VPIT candidate will also demonstrate evidence of many of the following qualities:

  • Demonstrated strong analytical and quantitative skills along with in-depth knowledge of the practices and principles of information technology operations and service delivery in large, complex organizations;
  • Experience representing a university system or similarly complex organization effectively, with attention to its varied constituents, partners, governing boards, accrediting, legislative, and other external bodies and the public; and a facility for understanding the relevance of federal and state government laws and processes.
  • An ability to think critically and creatively about technology and business issues and to comprehend, propose, and implement change;
  • Highly innovative, organizationally savvy, strategic, and entrepreneurial approach to problem solving and partnership;
  • An ability to work both independently and as a member of a team and to partner effectively with multiple internal and external constituencies;
  • Excellent communication skills, clarity in both oral and written presentations; ability to present at the executive level as needed; strong listening and rapport building skills;
  • A record of attracting, mentoring, and retaining high-quality talent and building vibrant, empowered teams from ambitious, individual contributors;
  • Honesty, integrity, and the ability to create and sustain an environment of transparency and trust.


UNC-GA has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Amy Sugin and Tom Phillips at:

Background checks will be performed on all final candidates.

The University of North Carolina General Administration is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer that welcomes all to apply, including protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education 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, visit