Next Generation In Hunt for West Virginia University CIO

January 31, 2017 – Next Generation Executive Search has been retained by West Virginia University to lead its search for a new chief information officer (CIO) and associate provost for information technology. Managing partners Mary Beth Baker and Phil Goldstein are leading the assignment. The school said it is seeking an inspiring leader for the position who will provide a strong vision for its information technology services (ITS), managing the unit’s strategic direction and systemwide technologies.

The incoming CIO will be an exceptional communicator who effectively engages with a collaborative environment and ensures the ITS vision is shared and embraced throughout the IT team. The position holder will also work closely with the university user community.

The ideal candidate will implement a strategic vision and tactical plans to best serve user needs while improving efficiency, customer satisfaction, scalability and reliability of services. The incoming leader will develop innovative IT strategies to support, empower and advance the university’s mission. In addition, the chosen CIO will develop and coordinate plans for providing systemwide enterprise applications, including regional campuses, extension sites, farms, research centers and other university sites. The incoming executive will also act as an advisor to senior leadership and a liaison to campus IT units, faculty, staff and administrative groups.


West Virginia University is seeking an individual with 10 years of experience in progressive leadership responsibilities in an IT unit, preferably in higher education. The CIO must have five years of experience in implementing and / or overseeing management of enterprise systems, particular in e-learning, student information systems and financial / HR systems. Experience in leading the development of an IT strategic plan and its implementation in a complex organization is also preferred.

West Virginia University is the flagship, land-grant institution of higher education in the state of West Virginia and one of only 46 institutions nationwide defined as both a land-grant institution and a Carnegie-classified R1 (Highest Research Activity) institution. Ranked among the top 100 public universities, WVU offers 193 degree programs to approximately 31,000 students through its 15 colleges and schools.

The Recruiters

Next Generation is an executive search firm dedicated to identifying qualified IT leaders and professionals for positions in higher education. Through its IT consulting work, Next Generation has developed an extensive network of contacts with leading educational technologists at public and private institutions.

Ms. Baker has spent her career advising higher education institutions and non-profit organizations on how to respond most effectively to external and internal challenges. For 20 years, through strategic planning, restructuring, process improvement, project management and technology integration, she has provided counsel to clients, including California State University (Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge and Pomona), University of California (Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and San Francisco) and UC Office of the President, Pepperdine University and Stanford University.

Mr. Goldstein has nearly 20 years of experience as a consultant and an administrator in higher education. His clients have included Brown University, Case Western Reserve University, MIT, California Institute of Technology, Pepperdine University, New York University, Dartmouth College, California State University, Johns Hopkins University, Monmouth University and Mercy College.

CIOs In Demand

CIO hiring and recruiting information technology teams are both on the riseNearly a quarter (22 percent) of U.S. CIOs plan to expand their IT teams, according to a 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.

“Organizations are getting the green light on more technology projects, prompting them to make strategic hires,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “However, technology leaders continue to struggle to find highly skilled talent in a market with low unemployment. They seek IT professionals with specialized skills, especially in the areas of cloud computing, data analytics, mobile strategies and cybersecurity.”

Schools Turning to Search Firms to Find CIOs

The chief information officer is now considered one of the most strategic roles within any organization, and for colleges and universities the CIO position holder is now seen as an especially critical asset. ” According to executive search consultants who specialize in recruiting them, the best CIOs have the power to dramatically differentiate a company’s offering in the market, while a poorly performing one can be the single point of failure within an organization. But there’s a problem: these same recruiters report that headhunting within the function remains hugely challenging – with a majority reporting that it is ‘somewhat’ or ‘very challenging’ to find skilled, C-suite IT professionals as demand is far outstripping the supply ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

KPMG Leading CIO Search for University of Adelaide
KPMG Executive Search & Selection was recently retained by the University of Adelaide to lead its search for a CIO. Associate director Kelly Kuras is leading the search. The incoming CIO, according to the organization, will take the university to the next level of excellence in its IT environment and service provision. The executive sought must have a deep understanding of trends in the IT industry and how they can best be harnessed for the benefit of the university.

Opus Partners Recruits CIO for University of Richmond
Opus Partners recruited Keith W. McIntosh as CIO at the University of Richmond. Craig Smith, a founding partner at Opus, led the search. Mr. McIntosh brings to Richmond more than 30 years of experience in information technology services within higher education and the military. He previously served as CIO and associate vice president, digital instruction and information services, at Ithaca College. Opus has also recently completed CIO searches for the University of Chicago and Williams College, and it is currently leading the CIO search for Stony Brook University.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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