BC is in the process of hiring a firm to identify potential applicants for the vice presidential job, which has been vacant since July of 2000, according to Keating, and a search committee including trustees, faculty and administrators will be formed shortly. The search will be national in scope, he said.
Explaining the move, Keating, who was an executive with an Internet education firm prior to arriving at BC this past summer, said, "Shortly after I started working here, we began evaluating the state of information technology at BC, reviewing not only immediate needs and issues but longer term ones as well. There is broad consensus that filling this position is necessary.
"Boston College created a vice presidential slot for Information Technology several years ago because this was an area requiring top-level leadership. The need for that kind of a role has, if anything, grown stronger."
Because the search-and-hire process is likely to take at least several months, Keating said he felt it necessary to serve as interim vice president to assist the IT department in determining work priorities and plans for delivery of services to the campus
"Things are moving ahead on a number of major projects, yet all the while IT also has to be concerned with the day-to-day, week-to-week management of services and resources," said Keating. "We expect that the person who eventually becomes our permanent VP will play a leadership role in the future in delivering services to faculty, staff and students.
"However, we are not in a position where we can wait. There are several major technology-related initiatives and projects now going on with others to follow. We need to start forming opinions, gathering input and mapping out directions for these initiatives."
Keating said the leadership of BC's Information Technology division - Associate Vice President Bernard Gleason, Executive Director Jack Spang and Director Mary Corcoran - will remain in place, and the three will continue fulfilling their present responsibilities.
"Bernie, Jack and Mary have a wealth of experience here at BC, and their knowledge and skill is absolutely invaluable to us. Bernie will continue to help in shaping our information technology strategy and overall direction. Jack will concentrate on his role as chief technical officer, while Mary will focus on relations with departments and end users, while assisting me in the day to day operations of the department."
Keating listed several initiatives and projects that Information Technology will be involved with during this fiscal year. These include upgrades to the campus network, beginning the implementation of a new financial system, the multi-phase redesign of University Web sites, as well as desktop workstation replacement and e-mail projects. He also noted the formation of the Academic Technology Services division, which will assist faculty in using technology for teaching, research and the development and implementation of e-learning strategies.
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