The Associate Vice President, Information Technology Services & Support is responsible for the delivery of a portfolio of integrated services that supports faculty, students, and staff in the use of information technology, for teaching and learning, research computing, and administration of the University. This portfolio includes end-user support and related communications for collaboration services, management of end-user devices, use of internet resources, administrative systems, the teaching and learning environment, and research computing Reporting to the Vice President of Information Technology (VPIT) and functioning as a senior leader of Northwestern Information Technology, this position leads the directors and their teams in providing these services and support, and works with business, academic, and technology leaders across the University to enhance service offerings, consistent with University priorities.
- Leadership. Provides vision and leadership to ensure that support systems for faculty, students, and staff are fully aligned and consistent with the University’s goals and priorities, and evolving directions and best practices in the industry. Consistent with Northwestern’s strategic pillars of advancing “creation and discovery” and development of an “integrated student experience” this role requires fostering a holistic and innovative computing environment for our community.
- Provides vision and leadership to create an integrated IT support network, with coordinated planning across the community at Northwestern.
- Provides overall direction and is accountable for major projects/initiatives to introduce, improve, or replace IT support to meet academic, research computing, administrative, and operational requirements.
- Understands the diverse requirements of the University community and dominant trends and developments across the information technology industry as they impact planning for support of faculty, students, and staff.
- Engages in IT strategic planning and policy development as a senior member of the Northwestern IT leadership team, fostering innovation to achieve University goals.
- Management. Oversees the operations of teaching and learning technologies, digital media and design, research computing, technology support services, and communications, consulting with and working through subordinate directors and managers.
- Builds, retains, and develops a culture of service excellence and a customer-focused, collaborative management team that is the next generation of leaders (directors, managers) in information technology suport.
- Develops and nurtures an environment of continuing improvements that increase efficiences, decrease turnaround times, and streamline work processes.
- Manages overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of all employees of teaching and learning technologies, digital media and design, research computing, and technology support services.
- As needed, advises subordinate employees on appropriate procedures for managing within University policies.
- Performs various management functions related to technology support and services, including budgeting, procurement, contract negotiations, and personnel evaluations and actions.
- Collaboration. Collaborates with University colleagues and others to provide IT support services that advance the strategic goals of the University.
- Leads the University community and others on the Northwestern IT management team to determine the capabilities, options, and applicability of existing technology support solutions and services, along with possible changes and/or extensions in support of the University's mission.
- Develops and maintains strong working relationships to collaborate and partner with key University stakeholders (VPs, AVPs, Deans, key faculty, Librarians, etc.) and delivery partners, as well as external solution providers.
- Partners with senior leaders in schools and departments to coordinate support services between central IT and the distributed IT units (collectively known as the IT@NU community) in support of shared services initiatives.
- Consults with University schools and departments on appropriate changes to support systems that will further the University's strategic goals and initiatives, and recommends achievable goals and resource requirements.
- Extensive advisory contact with University administrators and technical staff to refine joint visions of how services may be delivered electronically, with increased capabilities and efficiencies.
- Extensive partnership with leaders of other Northwestern IT departments and with the leadership of other divisions of the University.
- Participates in the IT governance practices, and is an active member of the Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC) and research technology advisory committees.
- Participates in related and relevant international and national professional organizations, and represents the University at appropriate national and international forums.
- Customer Service. Ensures that NUIT customers are provided with excellent service and a high level of support that meets the needs of the University community.
- Ensures that support practices benefit from enhanced IT service management practices, including project management, documentation, and change control.
- Effectively measures user satisfaction with NUIT services, and works within the IT@NU community to improve services and satisfaction over time.
- Frequent contact with University administrators on matters of University-wide policy related to teaching and learning, research computing, design of classrooms and innovation spaces or similar activities.
- Establishes and maintains an appropriate network of professional contacts. Maintains currency with professional organizations and participates in national groups (e.g., EduCause) to share experiences, learn best practices from others, and influence policy formulation.
- Represents the University and Northwestern IT team externally in areas of IT leadership and support services.
- Performs other duties as required and directed.
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in a technical discipline (e.g., Information Technology, Information Systems, Computer Science, Engineering) or equivalent combination of training, education and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
- Fifteen years of experience in IT operations.
- Ten years of project management and supervisory/management experience.
- Substantial progressive management and leadership experience for information technology systems and services at the scale of the University’s offerings.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills; written and verbal skills; analytical skills; strong interpersonal skills.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.):
- A strong background in IT support and management, and a proven track record of ensuring alignment of service capacity, flexibility, and delivery with both strategic and operational requirements.
- A solid understanding of mainstream support services and systems, and of industry best practices in support methodologies, service management, change management and communications.
- An understanding of evolving academic and research technology requirements and recognition of the need to support both mainstream services and emergent technologies which are relevant, or potentially relevant to academia.
- An appreciation of the importance of maintaining a balance between operational excellence and supporting innovation in research, teaching and learning, and administration.
- Proven track record in recruiting, directing, motivating and guiding the development of a team of IT support professionals.
- A strong customer service focus.
- Experience in supporting an effective communication strategy to a diverse organization.
- Excellent verbal and written skills. Ability to explain complex technology in a manner that is understandable to a non-technical person.
- Master’s degree (MBA, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering), or equivalent.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
- Business Acumen – Possesses business savvy and demonstrates the ability to foster and lead cost-efficient initiatives without sacrificing quality or core values.
- Conflict Management – Exhibits understanding of natural sources of conflict and acts to prevent or soften them.
- Decision Making – Follows and teaches others to follow a process/method for problem solving.
- Dependability – Effectively performs duties and responsibilities; displays attention to detail; supports organizational policies; anticipates demands/pressures of assignments and adjusts accordingly.
- Development of Self/Others – Stays current on technical/professional information; identifies methods for improving work procedures or systems; solicits feedback from customers, peers and superiors.
- Initiative – Exhibits energy and desire to achieve; sets ambitious goals and acts decisively; takes action that no one has requested to improve or enhance job results and avoid problems.
- Negotiation – Finds common ground to accommodate the conflicting needs and wants of different stakeholders.
- Visionary Leadership – Inspires confidence and optimism through a clear vision and by personal example; reinforces and emphasizes organizational goals through words and actions.
- People Management – Setting clear expectations, reviewing progress, providing feedback and guidance, holding people accountable.
- Political Savvy – Shows awareness of political factors and “hidden agendas;” builds informal network to “wire” information sources and influence.
- Planning – Devises and implements clearly defined strategies to achieve business objectives.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.