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Division-Wide Assessment

The Division of IT launched a division-wide assessment in fall 2022 to identify ways to enhance the effectiveness of the structures and service models supporting the shared technology needs of the University of Missouri System and the University of Missouri.

As the assessment has concluded, its findings have been used to inform the search for the next VP/CIO as well as outline the opportunities and challenges the next leader will need to address. Learn more about the search for the next UM System Vice President of IT and MU Chief Information Officer.

About the Assessment

The purpose of the assessment was to help the Division of Information Technology identify opportunities to better align its expertise and resources with the complex and differing technology requirements of MU and UM’s varied clinical, research, education and administrative missions.

Interim Vice President of Information Technology for the UM System and MU Chief Information Officer Ben Canlas oversaw the assessment in close collaboration with an outside vendor, Next Generation Partners, that has expertise in IT assessments and executive IT searches in higher education.

The assessment was a highly consultative process engaging leadership, faculty, staff and members of the IT community. Next Generation Partners conducted more than 40 individual and 30 group meetings with stakeholders to understand current IT structures and services, future needs and opportunities for improvement. Campus CIOs and Division of IT leadership were also engaged in discussion sessions to review shared and campus specific services and will work with IT leadership to consider alternative structures for the Division.

A survey of more than 120 Division of IT staff also was conducted to help identify the values and attributes desired in the new leader.

Assessment Findings

  • The IT ecosystem is large in scale and broad in scope, which requires diverse leadership expertise to set direction across multiple portfolios of technology.
  • Opportunities exist for IT leaders to increase stakeholder engagement and consultation on strategic technology needs, directions and priorities.
  • A need exists to invest in foundational technology infrastructure capabilities and workforce development to meet university needs for responsive, secure and reliable services.
  • Opportunities exist to expand IT services and improve specific technologies that are essential to support university priorities in supporting student success, enabling research, and facilitating the use of data in decision-making.
  • As part of the assessment, a survey of more than 120 Division of IT staff revealed employees want their next leader to be a higher education IT leader with broad IT knowledge who will advocate for the Division and the critical services they provide. The assessment determined IT stakeholders recognize that effective communication, transparency and collaboration must be valued by the leader the Division selects.

Assessment Recommendations

  • Recruit an experienced CIO with a demonstrated track record of developing organizations and transforming the way in which organizations apply information technology.
  • Maintain the VP/CIO position as a UM System and MU joint role with a reporting relationship to the president, with campus CIOs reporting jointly to the VP/CIO and their campus chancellor.
  • Develop a multi-year roadmap for supporting the growing research enterprise.​​​​​​​
  • Develop strategies to support student success with data and analytics and improve administrative operations by identifying the next generation of support systems.
  • Empower the new CIO to invest in workforce and leadership development.
  • Support the complexity of the IT ecosystem by empowering the CIO to develop a structure for IT that designates leaders to plan and advocate for the needs of specialized technology domains (e.g., research IT),  constituents (e.g., campuses), and shared capabilities (e.g., infrastructure, user support).

Next Steps

A nationwide search for the next University of Missouri Vice President of Information Technology and MU Chief Information Officer is underway. The search is being led by Next Generation partners and the UM Executive Recruitment team in partnership with a search committee guided by co-chairs Tom Spencer, MU vice chancellor for research, and Sarah Chinniah, MU vice chancellor for business operations and strategic initiatives.

Learn more about the search and see the list of committee members on the search webpage.

Reviewed 2023-04-28