The University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) seeks an experienced, highly-collaborative and entrepreneurial IT leader to be its inaugural Executive Director of Client Success. This new position will accelerate efforts to provide excellent customer service and enable the effective use of technology in all aspects of the University’s mission. The Executive Director will oversee IT service management, help desk and desktop services, project management, technology retail store, IT communications and mobile applications. Reporting to the AVP/Deputy CIO, the successful candidate will be a key member of the CIO’s extended leadership team pursuing a new strategic plan, Empower UAB (https://www.uab.edu/it/home/strategic-plan). The position is an opportunity to join an institution and city on their ascendancy as regional leaders garnering national attention. UAB is being recognized as a leading research university and academic medical center. Likewise, Birmingham has transformed into an exciting area to live and work with leading schools, a growing technology start-up economy, wonderful restaurants, cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and a favorable cost of living.
About the University
The UAB story is one of remarkable growth in size, quality, reputation and impact. In a little more than four decades, UAB has transformed from its modest beginnings as an extension center into a doctoral research university and academic medical center. The University is ranked first by U.S. News & World Report among universities in Alabama and 67th nationwide, it is also in the top 25 of midsize employers in the U.S., according to Forbes magazine and is the top research university in Alabama. With $225 million in NIH funding in FY2014, UAB is ranked 10th among public universities for NIH funding. UAB has set its sights on a world-class reputation and is quickly making its mark with world-class technology — including the fastest supercomputer in Alabama and the fastest internet among Alabama universities.
About the City of Birmingham
Home to 212,000 inhabitants, Birmingham is Alabama’s most populous city, aptly referred to as “The Pittsburgh of the South”. With a cost of living that is 0.1% below national average, a Fortune 500 company, job growth trending upwards, and housing vacancy rates trending downwards, Birmingham’s economic state mirrors the city’s motto, “Birmingham Forward.” Growing success of Birmingham based technology start-ups is drawing the attention of venture capitalists as well (http://www.madeinalabama.com/2016/09/birmingham-tech-startup-scene/).
Jefferson County is home to Alabama’s best public school districts, most notably the Homewood City School District, home to Shades Cahaba Elementary School and Homewood High School, both recently commended by US News and World Report.
As one of the South’s top travel destinations, Birmingham is the beating heart of the arts and food scene in the state of Alabama. Famous for its Southern Soul flavor, the city offers over 1500 restaurants to choose from, collectively representing a diverse range of ethnic and traditional American cuisine. The city was recently awarded Zagat’s number 1 ranking as the next hot food city http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/04/birmingham_is_no_1_on_zagats_l.html.
Utilizing venues such as Legacy Arena, Iron City Bham, and downtown museums, the city offers visitors and residents alike a kinesthetic image of its past and present, highlighted by a soundtrack of jazz and family friendly entertainment. Many culture and performance venues offer discounts to the University’s faculty and staff (https://www.uab.edu/humanresources/home/benefits/perks). For those who love the outdoors, the area offers outstanding lakes, caving systems and the Red and Oak mountains. Centrally located, Birmingham is within a three hour drive from Atlanta, Huntsville, Chattanooga, and Nashville.
UAB Information Technology is an innovative organization focused on delivering information technology services to support the strategies and priorities of the institution. UAB IT is transforming its technology, organizational capabilities and management processes. A recent innovation campaign, SPARK (https://www.uab.edu/it/home/spark-initiative) generated over 100 technology related improvements that could be rapidly deployed across the institution. Empower UAB has identified multi-year strategic initiatives in partnership with the schools and administrative units to enable a growing research portfolio, support teaching and learning innovations, improve the efficiency of business processes, and deploy business intelligence capabilities to academic and administrative decision-makers. Concurrently, the plan is guiding the UAB IT organization to work with its constituents to improve IT governance, reduce risk and protect information assets and build IT organizational capability in UAB IT and across the IT communication. Major initiatives are underway to modernize the University’s data centers and research cyber infrastructure, replace its suite of administrative systems (ERP), greatly increase network capacity and performance and improve customer service.
Led by Vice President and CIO, Dr. Curt Carver, UAB IT is organized in three main divisions each led respectively by the Deputy CIO, the CTO, and the Chief Information Security Officer. Additional information about the UAB IT organization can be found at https://www.uab.edu/it/home/about-uab- it/the-it-organization.
The Leadership Opportunity
The Executive Director of Client Success joins the organization at a time of dynamic change with the opportunity to greatly influence the structure, services, and processes of a major portion of the UAB IT team. The Executive Director will lead the continued improvement of the IT help desk and desktop support teams, to increase customer satisfaction, agility and efficiency. The successful candidate will lead organization wide efforts to strengthen project and portfolio management practices and support the adoption of new IT governance structures. The University’s continued deployment of responsibility center budget management is creating a heightened understanding of the cost of IT services and creating opportunities for UAB IT to work with schools and departments to rationalize some IT services and provide managed local IT support services to allow departmental IT staff to focus on discipline specific technology. The Executive Director will structure agreements to provide help desk, desktop and classroom technology support to schools and departments and assure that services are cost efficient and responsive to constituent needs. Working in collaboration with the enterprise applications team, the Executive Director will shape the University’s mobile strategy and assure services are highly usable and coherent. Finally, the Executive Director will lead a revitalized IT communications department to convey the value of the strategic IT plan, promote the effective adoption of IT services, and support major technology initiatives with wide ranging impact on constituents.
The Executive Director oversees a team of 60 staff and 4 direct reports. He or she is responsible for oversight and continual improvement of the help desk, desktop support services, a retail store (Tech Connect), a project management office, communications team, and a mobile development. The successful candidate will have the flexibility to organize the team to leverage the talent of the organization, best support the strategic plan and to integrate departmental IT staffs that are overseen by UAB IT.
Qualifications and Essential Experiences Bachelor’s degree and ten years of related experience required. Work experience may not substitute for educational requirements. In addition, candidates must possess outstanding communication skills and a proven track record of delivering high quality customer service to meet diverse stakeholder needs. Successful candidates must be highly collaborative change agents willing to take measured risks. Five or more years of experience managing an organization with multiple direct reports and a staff size of twenty or more full-time employees is preferred. A Master’s degree, relevant professional certifications, and a working familiarity with the culture and structure of research universities or academic medical centers are also preferred. Leading candidates will have demonstrated depth in many of the following experiences:
Implement structures, processes and organizational capabilities to deliver excellent customer service;
Build and maintain strong customer relationships built on transparency and trust;
Create a vision and led the implementation of significant initiatives to make an organization more agile, responsive and aligned with its constituent’s needs;
Create an organizational culture that is proactive, problem solving, and focused on always solving the client’s need;
Build effective relationships with stakeholders across the organization that have enabled the candidate to lead change by influence as well as authority;
Led help desk and desktop support teams that delivered outstanding customer service to diverse technology users;
Implement technologies, processes and organizational capabilities to efficiently and securely support customers’ computing devices in an environment that requires a diversity of technologies and a greater degree of openness;
Oversee or a significant participant in their organization’s IT governance and project portfolio management processes;
Lead or significant contributor to the development of mobile strategies and mobile solutions for clients;
Design and deploy professional development strategies to improve staff performance and retention; and
Manage in an organization of comparable size and complexity.
Nominations or inquiries should be directed to Next Generation Executive Search:
Phil Goldstein, Managing Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mary Beth Baker, Managing Partner – email@example.com
Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and resume via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. However, to facilitate full consideration applications should be received by August 1st.