Friday, August 1, 2014

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Sullivan Announces Interim Reorganization of Information Technology at U.Va.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan announced Wednesday a temporary organizational structure for the information technology portfolio currently managed by outgoing Vice President and Chief Information Officer James Hilton.

Hilton recently accepted the position of dean of libraries and university librarian at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, effective July 1. Hilton has served as U.Va.’s CIO since 2006.

“James Hilton has had a profound influence on the quality of education at U.Va. while elevating the University’s status in the rapidly evolving world of information technology,” Sullivan said. “He has passionately encouraged our faculty to integrate new technologies into their teaching, research and scholarship in creative ways, and he has enhanced the University’s reputation through his work to advance higher education IT on the national level. We are extremely grateful for James’ service and dedication and wish him every future success.”

In a meeting with Information Technology Services employees on Wednesday, Sullivan outlined an interim organizational structure that will be in place while a decision is reached on how to configure the organization to align with the ever-changing landscape of information technology within higher education.

“Your organization plays an integral role in supporting the IT infrastructure for this great University,” she told employees. “We would not be the premiere collegiate research university we are today without your invaluable assistance in managing our critical IT resources.

“I believe this interim reorganization of this important operation will allow central IT to continue to provide an exceptional level of service and continue advances in teaching and research while we determine the optimal structure of the organization to support current and future strategic needs and priorities of the University.”

Mike McPherson, associate vice president, and his team will continue to support the activities that involve direct engagement with faculty around the emerging research and teaching missions of the University – currently consisting of UVACSE, SHANTI, 4VA and the University’s engagement with MOOCs and other emerging models of online education – and during the interim period will report to Vice President for Research Thomas Skalak.

Virginia Evans, associate vice president for information technology services, and her team will continue to oversee information technology operations and support and during the interim period will report to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick D. Hogan.

The interim reporting structure is effective July 1. Sullivan said a decision on the permanent structure for central IT, including whether there will be a search for a vice president overseeing the entire operation, will be made within the next several months.

In an email to his staff, Hilton said, “While I am honored and excited by the opportunities that lie ahead for me at Michigan, leaving U.Va. will be very hard. Positioned as a research university with an enduring commitment to the student experience, a tradition of honor and student self-governance, and a collection of exceptional faculty and staff, U.Va. is a rare and treasured gem. I will miss it and, more importantly, I will miss working with all of you.”

The mission of central IT is to promote information technology as a strategic resource throughout the University and to exemplify service excellence.

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