Yale has established a new leadership position to oversee information technology systems, highlighting the key role they play in the university’s mission of education, research, scholarship, preservation and practice. , as well as the value to campus operations of ever-increasing interconnectivity.
In a June 24 message, President Peter Salovey and Senior Vice President of Operations Jack Callahan Jr. announced that Yale had elevated the position of Chief Information Officer John Barden to the level of University Officer. Barden will serve as Yale’s vice president for information technology, effective July 1, 2022.
The Yale Corporation approved the promotion at its meeting earlier this month.
“As a global research university, Yale has a long-standing responsibility to create knowledge that improves the world for this and future generations,” Salovey and Callahan wrote. “Essential to this mission is superior information technology that supports students, faculty members, and staff.”
The pandemic, they said, has reinforced the importance of evolving Yale’s IT systems for “unprecedented interconnectivity.”
“As an institution, Yale must continually make ‘bits and bytes’ as important as ‘bricks and mortar’,” Callahan said, noting that the CIO is a cabinet-level position in many of its peer institutions. Yale.
Salovey and Callahan said Barden was perfectly suited for the job.
He has been CIO of Yale since 2017. Prior to joining Yale, he was Deputy CIO at the University of Rochester and a consultant at Arthur Andersen and BearingPoint.
At the University of Rochester, Barden helped launch the first university-wide learning management system, deployed an integrated data warehouse, performed several major administrative systems transitions, established a integrated research and helped refine information technology governance and operational practices.
Upon arriving at Yale, Barden and his Information Technology Services team led a sweeping assessment and overhaul of campus IT, work that proved critical in 2020, when the COVID pandemic -19 forced Yale to temporarily move most teaching online.
Working with partners across the university, Barden oversaw an effort to expand network capacity, enabling Yale to provide technology and computing guidance to students around the world and a largely distance-teaching faculty. Under his leadership, Yale IT has also worked actively to improve IT support through three strategic priorities: increased coordination among all campus IT units, enabling clear and accessible services for the entire university; improved consistency and reliability of all services; and new company culture initiatives designed to help IT professionals engage with the community and perform at their best. These initiatives, Barden says, have propelled Yale IT’s organizational capacity.
“Our expectations for institutional infrastructure continue to evolve rapidly,” he said. “Perhaps this has never been clearer than during the pandemic, where much of our campus has had to employ new ways to pursue our missions through new technological means.
“Increasingly, our faculty, staff and students depend on many forms of information technology and technology professionals to do their jobs,” he added. “Sometimes it happens in the background, like networks and data centers. Other times it visibly opens up new possibilities through high-performance computing, learning management systems, collaboration tools, or the many specialized applications and team members who work with faculty, students and staff.
Beyond pandemic-related ITS efforts, Barden has contributed to the development of the Program and Operations Management Excellence Team, which supports IT and other operations-wide initiatives. . His expertise will be critical as Yale continues to maximize its technology resources in the years to come, Salovey and Callahan said.
Elevating the CIO role puts it on a par with other roles that report directly to Yale’s operations division, such as vice presidents of facilities, finance, and human resources. It will also complement the realignment of Yale’s public safety leadership announced earlier this week.
“While we have made great strides in improving information technology governance and collaboration, this change will facilitate alignment between our institutional goals and the technology resources that so often support those goals,” said Barden. “I look forward to working with our committed IT professionals and the entire campus community to evolve Yale’s digital infrastructure.”