Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer

Apply now Job no: 493311
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Information Technology

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by January 4th, 2021. Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae, and a letter of application. Please direct all application materials to Nick Giannas or Tammy Jackson via the WittKieffer Candidate Portal here. Inquiries and nominations may also be directed to the consultants through the portal.

Information that cannot be sent electronically may be forwarded to:

Tammy Jackson


2015 Spring Road, Suite 510

Oak Brook, Illinois 60523

Phone: 630-575-6936

Applications received through PioneerJobs will not be considered.

University of Denver: An Overview


Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is an independent, doctoral-granting university with high research activity. The University has become increasingly known, nationally and internationally, for its creative, 21st-century approaches to problem-based scholarship, as well as its holistic, student-centered approach to learning and its dedication to the public good through local, national and international partnerships. The University plays an integral role in the cultural, social, economic and educational vibrancy of the fast-growing city and region it calls home.

The University of Denver is located on a 125-acre campus less than 30 minutes from downtown. During the past 20 years, the University has invested more than $852 million in renovating, modernizing and growing its campus and has recently constructed three new buildings: The Burwell Center for Career Achievement, the Dimond Family Residential Village, and a new student-focused Community Commons. These three new buildings represent the first phase of the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan, an ambitious and innovative vision for the physical future of DU. Through the Denver Advantage, the University aims to integrate the campus and its surrounding neighborhood, open the doors of campus to the city of Denver, and foster a great sense of belonging for the DU community. The beautiful campus, with sweeping views of the Denver skyline and the Rocky Mountains, is also designated as an arboretum.

Other buildings constructed on campus in the past 25 years include the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Anna & John J. Sie International Relations Complex the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, the Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women, Olin Hall, the Ricketson Law Building, Ruffatto Hall (Morgridge College of Education), the Daniels College of Business, the Joy Burns Center, the Anderson Academic Commons, the IT Building, as well as two new residence halls.

The Strategic Plan: DU IMPACT 2025

The University of Denver has a bold and courageous vision for higher education in the 21st century. The University is creating substantial changes that will have an enormous impact on our students, the research of our faculty, the community and beyond, framed by the strategic plan DU IMPACT 2025. DU will continue to innovate around our strengths in teaching, learning, and discovery. The faculty and students will accelerate the ways research can be used to address society’s most vexing problems. Chancellor Jeremy Haefner has introduced five strategic imperatives that will accelerate DU’s progress toward the goals of DU IMPACT 2025.

Chancellor Haefner’s five strategic imperatives are:

  • Ensure a sustainable future for the next generation
  • Create a unique, global, 4D student experience, emphasizing a holistic approach to learning and student success
  • Cultivate an exceptionally diverse, inclusive, equitable and welcoming community
  • Define and model a global, engaged research university
  • Ensure a signature portfolio of academic programs

Academic Profile

U.S. News and World Report lists the University of Denver among the nation’s top 100 universities, currently ranked 80th. The Carnegie Classifications identify DU as a “Doctoral University: High Research Activity.” The University enrolls about 13,000 students from all regions of the United States and over 80 different countries in its distinguished undergraduate liberal arts and science and graduate and professional programs. The University’s academic programs are led by twelve academic deans. Each program features cutting-edge curricula, professor-led courses and access to the latest tools and technology. The 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes allow personalized instruction as well as multiple opportunities for research, exploration, and holistic student development. There are more than 750 full-time appointed faculty members, of which 90 percent have earned the highest degree in their fields. DU faculty often collaborate on scholarly inquiry and pedagogical reflection with faculty and students from other disciplines, divisions, schools, colleges across campus and community partners. These efforts—and many others like them—deepen the University’s intellectual portfolio and expand the opportunities available for its faculty and students.

Student Life

In fall 2019, there were 5,774 undergraduates and 7,157 graduate students. Six percent of students are international, 60 percent of students are women, and a quarter identify as people of color. DU students display great ethnic, cultural, and spiritual diversity. What binds them together is a commitment to scholarly excellence, attention and access to professors and an insatiable curiosity and drive to make a difference in the world. Students work closely with faculty, staff, peers, members of the broader Denver/Rocky Mountain area, and international communities on projects, research and fieldwork. They work across disciplines to discover new perspectives and approaches to problem-solving. To prepare students for the challenges of productive citizenship, the University of Denver offers rigorous programs that emphasize critical thinking, innovative problem solving, ethical leadership and global engagement. When students leave DU, they are ready to make a difference in organizations and communities around the world.


The University has annual budgeted operating revenues of over $500 million and total endowment assets in excess of $800 million as of December 31, 2019. In FY 2019, the University raised $86.5 million in voluntary giving commitments. FY 2019 sponsored research expenditures exceeded $36 million. The University’s research partnerships with corporations include Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance, DePuy, Arrow Electronics, DaVita, Ball Corporation and others.

The University has 6,214 employees, comprised of 1,747 professional staff, 849 appointed faculty, 372 non-appointed hourly staff, 957 adjunct faculty and 2,289 student employees. Forty-nine percent of faculty are women, and 20 percent identify as people of color. Sixty-four percent of staff are women, and 27 percent identify as persons of color.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

DU shows a demonstrated commitment to inclusive excellence. DU is fully committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse community and promotes the full participation and prosperity of all of its members. The University embraces a distinctive philosophy that employs senior leadership as catalysts in a concerted effort to recruit all members of the University community—students, staff, faculty and administrators—in the implementation of comprehensive plans for diversity and inclusion. DU’s IRISE research incubator is just one example of that commitment.

Since 2010, DU has seen a 55 percent increase in domestic students of color, from 18 to 25 percent of the student body; another six percent are international students from over 80 countries around the globe. Twenty percent of appointed faculty members are domestic people of color, and three percent are international. New hiring guidelines and retention efforts are designed to support an increasingly diverse set of faculty and staff members.

The Opportunity

The University of Denver (DU) seeks an accomplished, strategic and customer-focused IT executive to serve as its next Vice Chancellor for Information Technology, Chief information Officer (VCIT/CIO). This is a tremendous opportunity to join a vibrant and progressive University located in one of the fastest growing and diverse cities in the U.S.

The University’s vision for the future is bold and exciting as it continues to innovate around its strengths in teaching, learning, discovery and research. The vision will be realized through the Chancellor's five strategic imperatives ( that will accelerate DU's progress toward the goals as outlined in the DU Impact 2025 strategic plan. Under the Chancellor's leadership, DU is transforming while being guided by its core values of excellence, innovation, engagement, integrity and inclusiveness. As a result, this is an opportune time for a dynamic executive to oversee the IT enterprise and play an active role in supporting DU’s future direction and in achieving its strategic objectives. 

The VCIT/CIO will report to the Chancellor and will be an inclusive member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet as well as the Dean’s Council. As a highly collaborative leader, the VCIT/CIO will partner with senior leaders and staff to effectively align IT and support DU's transformation into a global, engaged R1 research institution. As a strategic partner for the campus, the VCIT/CIO will lead a forward thinking, enterprise focused IT organization that champions diversity, equity and inclusion. A major strength of IT is the division's strong service oriented approach which is recognized and appreciated across the campus. The VCIT/CIO will continue to enhance the division's high level of customer service.

The VCIT/CIO will provide the leadership and strategy for IT in support of DU’s mission and strategic priorities. The VCIT/CIO will lead a unified IT organization that includes staff that support its schools/colleges as well as business analysts that reside in administrative units. A key area of focus for the new VCIT/CIO will be to provide the strategic and operational leadership needed to oversee the digital transformation as well as the development of a digital strategy for DU that will bring value and improve the user experience of students, faculty and administrators. Other important needs include: the development of an integrated analytics function and enhancement of a well-defined governance structure and project management office that implements best practices related to policies, processes, and procedures that will be adopted university wide. The VCIT/CIO will lead in significantly improving the capabilities of the IT enterprise by implementing the appropriate technologies to assure that DU effectively meets its objectives in education, research and community outreach. This leader will also need to focus on optimizing the management and operational structure that creates an integrated, proactive, and transparent centralized IT organization allowing for better communication, coordination, collaboration and efficiency with the Office of Teaching and Learning, University Libraries, and Marketing & Communications.

DU’s core applications include but are not limited to Ellucian Banner ERP and Canvas learning management system. 70% of the applications within DU's enterprise software ecosystem is currently hosted in the cloud. IT continues to move forward in improving DU’s technology capability and major projects are being planned or underway to upgrade areas including information security, research computing, classroom technology in support of HyFlex teaching and learning, telecommunications and web services. Another area of importance is the alignment and integration of disparate software systems to better streamline DU's software platforms.

DU seeks a seasoned leader who will bring strong strategic leadership and an enterprise perspective in identifying IT opportunities to better position the University for future success. A collaborative partner who is service oriented and can build trust, credibility and consensus with constituents across the campus is essential. The VCIT/CIO will be an innovative leader with a global vision and knowledge of new trends in technology supporting education, research and scholarship. The VCIT/CIO will have strong communication skills with the ability to facilitate change and balance resources and priorities effectively.

Summary of Position

The VCIT/CIO is a cabinet level position responsible for the overall leadership and management of the Information Technology Division in support of the administrative, academic and research functions, as well as IT infrastructure including networking, systems and IT security. The VCIT/CIO will report to the Chancellor and will be an active member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, providing the IT strategy and vision that is consistent with the mission and goals of University of Denver. In addition, the VCIT/CIO will have close working relationships with the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs, Chancellor’s Cabinet and Deans. The VCIT/CIO will work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students across DU and lead an environment that is highly responsive, reliable and service oriented.

Information Technology is comprised of approximately 100 FTEs with an operating budget of $19 million and a capital budget of $3 million. 

The following positions currently report directly to the VCIT/CIO: 

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor, IT Infrastructure and Chief Information Security Officer
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor, IT Enterprise Application Services 
  • Assistant Vice Chancellor, IT Campus Partnerships 
  • Director Business & Operations, IT 

Reporting Relationships

The Vice Chancellor, Chief Information Officer (VC/CIO) will report to Dr. Jeremy Haefner, the Chancellor of the University of Denver.


The successful Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer candidate will:

  • Develop, guide and oversee the IT strategic and operational plans in support of the overall mission and plan of DU. Ensure IT alignment with the business strategy of the university
  • Oversee the development of the digital strategy for DU that will bring value and directly support the university's goals as well as making DU a leading edge digital campus
  • Develop and manage annual university-wide information systems and technology budget
  • Build an environment that ensures the university-wide IT community is responsive to faculty, staff and student academic (education and research) technology needs. Provide the support needed to facilitate the continued growth and expansion of scientific computing power, clusters and cloud environments to support research
  • Manage an appropriate IT organizational structure and collaborate with end-users to develop and enhance IT systems that serve the needs of the university
  • Identify opportunities for appropriate investment in IT resources and assess the risk associated with those investments
  • Drive organizational innovation, seek opportunities to define competitive differentiation and adopt leading and innovative technologies to support the enterprise
  • Lead development of strategic technology alliances with third party technology providers
  • Implement and coordinate information systems and technology special projects and initiatives
  • Focus on the highest quality customer service to all campus constituents
  • Supervise, recruit, develop, retain, and organize IT staff in accordance with university budgetary objectives and personnel policies
  • Represent the University and its Chancellor before local, regional and national technology organizations and policy groups
  • Apply information systems and technology to enhance student access and student success; connect DU to community and world; and empower faculty research, knowledge production and technology transfer
  • Apply information systems and technology to support university operations and enhance efficiency
  • Work in a consultative fashion with other department heads, to ensure use of technologies that will improve institutional efficiency and effectiveness
  • Stays current and knowledgeable regarding advances in technology as it relates to trends, issues and best practices, especially as they relate to higher education

Goals and Objectives

The VCIT/CIO must demonstrate meaningful progress within the first 18-24 months of his/her tenure in a number of key areas. The VCIT/CIO will be expected to:

  • Be fully integrated into the Chancellor’s senior leadership team and perceived as a solid team player who has credibility, integrity, and contributes broadly as a subject matter expert in IT
  • Develop strong, collaborative, trusting relationships with constituents including the administrators, faculty, board of trustees and other key stakeholders across the University and partner with leaders and staff on IT initiatives in support of education, research and administration
  • Conduct a listening tour across the campus to fully understand stakeholder priorities and needs and establish meaningful partnerships to move forward with IT initiatives
  • Evaluate and optimize the IT organization, identifying needs and implementing best practices in terms of processes, policies and procedures. Mentor, develop and retain the current staff and ensure an operational structure that supports a high performing, service oriented team
  • Develop, gain approval for, and begin implementation of a digital strategy that is informed by the strategic plan, the mission of the University of Denver, and the Chancellor’s Five Strategic Imperatives
  • Assess and optimize the governance structure that will include broad representation across the campus and enable effective prioritization of new technology investments and initiatives while assessing risks
  • Conduct audit/assessment of all IT resources and systems and develop the plan to upgrade the overall technology capabilities of the University in areas such as information security, research infrastructure, teaching and learning technology, analytics, mobile and web technology
  • Facilitate the development of an enterprise application software procurement and consolidation process that includes governance and a culture around software purchases
  • Oversee opportunities to provide leading edge technology strategies and solutions as DU develops into a 21st century engaged research university, particularly in support of online learning technology and HyFlex learning models that meet the ever-changing needs of students and faculty

Candidate Qualifications


  • A bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or closely related field is required. A graduate degree is highly preferred

Knowledge and Work Experience

  • Significant senior level IT leadership experience, such as a CIO or Deputy CIO, preferably within a comprehensive university encompassing strategic planning, complex organizational structures, project planning, budgeting and management, and process transformation. Senior IT leaders with a combination of education and business industry experience will also be considered
  • Demonstrated understanding of the spectrum of IT activities, including technology infrastructure, academic and research computing, administrative systems and grant and outreach activities
  • Experience in leading the development of an IT strategic plan that is aligned with university strategy and priorities as well as implementation in a complex institution
  • A demonstrated commitment to fostering and advancing a diverse and inclusive workforce
  • Proven track record in leading a transparent, high performing, customer focused IT function, providing IT services that enable the overall organization to be successful
  • Demonstrated experience establishing strong partnerships and collaboration across an institution, building internal bridges with academic and administrative units
  • Demonstrated success working in a complex environment with centralized and distributed IT resources and enabling coordinated, high quality service to the user community
  • Strong understanding of academics and/or higher education experience, preferred

Leadership Skills and Competencies

  • A strategic leader who is forward thinking, has a vision of the future, “and can see around the corner”
  • A strong proponent of the university's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • An understanding and appreciation of the culture and history of DU and embrace the DU Impact 2025 vision
  • Strong technical and business acumen
  • A leader who is open, approachable and transparent
  • Collaborative team builder; ability to develop productive relationships across an institution
  • Politically savvy, diplomatic and emotional intelligence
  • Provide great leadership; ability to mentor and develop staff; Possess a strong scholar, teacher model who can service educators
  • Superb listening and influencing skills; a change agent with the ability to cultivate trust and credibility with colleagues; high integrity
  • Thorough knowledge of the current developments in the rapidly changing field of information technology
  • Knowledge and understanding of the academic, administrative and research functions
  • Knowledge of current information technology best practices including technical aspects and support aspects
  • Broad awareness of key issues and opportunities in higher education including the support of innovative teaching practices through the utilization of technology
  • Knowledge of management and supervisory best practices and principles
  • Knowledge of current government regulations that impact the privacy and security of information
  • Adaptable, engaging and personable; excellent interpersonal skills
  • Advanced skills in systems analysis, planning, forecasting, budgeting, and staff and project management
  • Persuasive and able to make difficult decisions in a complex institutional environment
  • Operates with a sense of urgency and brings innovative ideas to fruition

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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