Yale Creates Inaugural Cabinet Role in Information Technology


Over the summer, university president Peter Salovey created several new leadership positions, including a new position within his cabinet – vice president of information technology – supporting the engagement of Yale to “empower members of our community with the digital resources to teach, learn, and pursue.” new knowledge and solutions for an urgent global challenge.

Staff reporter

Yale News

University President Peter Salovey recently announced the appointment of John Barden to a new position within the university’s cabinet, Vice President for Information Technology, in addition to his previous role as Director some information.

This new role as a university officer elevates Barden to a member of the University’s cabinet, Salovey’s circle of advisers. While that won’t change Barden’s focus, as he previously oversaw IT systems, he now reports to Jack Callahan, senior vice president of operations, and will be involved in university-wide discussions.

“An organization with 320 years of history doesn’t create new officer positions very often,” Barden told The News. “I believe that senior leaders recognized that it was time to recognize our dependence and our need to have a good, solid digital infrastructure, [and] had reached the point where elevating the role seemed a fitting move.

This new role underscores the University’s ongoing goals of strengthening its digital infrastructure amid a major network update and ongoing efforts to optimize hybrid and virtual options for University employees.

Barden said the role represents “a reflection of progress” that will increase visibility and collaboration across the University.

“The improved organizational structure will also place the CIO position on an equal footing with other roles that report directly to the senior vice president for operations, including the vice presidents for facilities, finance and human resources. , as well as with most of our peer schools,” Salovey and Callahan wrote in a joint announcement.

In the June 24 message to the Yale community, Salovey and Callahan wrote that Yale has “a long-standing responsibility to create and share knowledge that improves the world for this generation and future generations,” and noted that information technology is “mission critical”. They also added that the pandemic was behind this recent modernization push.

Barden agreed that even before the pandemic highlighted the University’s reliance on technology, the modernization his team is working on has been long overdue.

“When I started here five years ago, I think it’s fair to say that people weren’t very happy with the way information technology was working, compared to the complexity and the needs of the institution,” Barden told the News.

Callahan said there was one piece of infrastructure in IT that the university was “poor” at before Barden came to Yale, and that investments in IT in the past had not. been “well coordinated”.

Given the size of the University, Callahan emphasized the importance of information technology as it is used to facilitate and support research, administrative-side human resource systems, and clinical practices.

Barden told the News that his team’s work is centered on supporting the University’s mission in these various facets related to information technology.

“We have tried to align all of our information technology work through the prism of the institution’s four missions,” Barden said. “So we really talked about academic priorities, research priorities, clinical priorities, and cultural heritage and museum priorities. And turning it around that way, we started talking less about technology and more about institutional goals and positioning information technology as an enabler for those goals.

During Barden’s time at Yale, he helped grow the Program Management and Operations Excellence team, and he helped develop One IT at Yale, which makes it easier for students and faculty to find online resources.

Barden has also been involved in the ongoing project that began in 2020 to modernize the campus network, which involves over 10,000 pieces of equipment to be replaced. The network update is nearly complete at Yale School of Medicine and should be complete for the rest of the university in about three years, according to Barden.

Today, Barden told the News he is focused on developing “multiple modalities” of teaching, as well as supporting the increasingly computational research taking place at Yale. Many of these issues are school-specific, such as at the Yale School of Nursing and the Yale School of Management, where some courses may be offered online in the future.

In addition to developing virtual learning options, Barden said Yale was working with a few of its vendors on prototyping hybrid options that could be used for University employees.


Sarah Cook covers President Salovey’s cabinet and works in the social media team. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, she is a freshman at Grace Hopper majoring in neuroscience.


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