April 5, 2016 – Executive recruiting firm Opus Partners has been retained by Colby College to lead its search for a new chief information officer. Katie Dean, an Opus principal, is leading the assignment.
Colby’s CIO will provide strategic leadership on all aspects of information technology planning, including program and policy development, managing key projects, and coordinating the delivery of high value services to the college’s community. Reporting to the vice president for administration, the incoming CIO will work closely with the provost and other senior officers in setting a vision for information technology and guiding the strategic development of the use of technology in advancing the Colby’s academic mission.
According to the position requisition, the CIO will also collaborate with key leaders, faculty, students, and staff to develop shared institutional priorities and ensures delivery of current and future technology systems and services. He or she will be a solutions-oriented leader, seeking creative, innovative approaches to meeting the needs of students, faculty, and staff to address teaching, learning, research, and operational requirements.
Like other university information chiefs, Colby’s top technology leader will oversee information systems, infrastructure and networks, technology support, and IT-related innovation. The incumbent will manage approximately 35 full-time staff members in information technology services (ITS) and look after an annual budget of $6.3 million. Senior-level leadership experience in information technology, encompassing strategic planning, staff development, project planning, budget management, contract negotiations & vendor relations, risk management, and process development & transformation are must-have skills.
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Founded in 1813 and located in central Maine, Colby is one of the nation’s most selective institutions of higher learning. It offers an academically rigorous undergraduate program rooted in deep exploration of ideas, focused independent and collaborative research, and close interaction with a world class faculty.
Opus Partners conducts senior level searches nationally and internationally for clients in higher education, healthcare, and institutional investment management. Its clients include universities, colleges, academic medical centers, foundations, and research institutes.
Hunting down chief information officers has become something of a widening speciality for Opus. The firm recently completed CIO searches for the University of Chicago and Williams College, and it is currently leading the CIO search for Stony Brook University.
CIO hiring and recruiting information technology teams are both on the rise. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of U.S. CIOs plan to expand their IT teams, according to a 2015 Robert Half Technology ‘IT Hiring Forecast Trend Report.’ It represents a three-point rise from the beginning of last year and an eight percentage point jump from one year ago.
The survey found that recruiting within the function remains challenging: 59 percent of CIOs said that it is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very challenging’ to find skilled IT professionals, while 69 percent of respondents said they are taking action to address recruiting challenges for IT staff.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media