Chief Information Officer, Lenoir-Rhyne University


Lenoir-Rhyne University is a co-educational, private, master’s comprehensive liberal arts institution founded in 1891, with its traditional campus located in Hickory, NC, a town of more than 40,000 residents. The University has additional campuses in Asheville, NC, and Columbia, SC, which includes the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS). Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lenoir-Rhyne is less than a one-hour drive from Charlotte. The University offers more than 50 undergraduate and 30 graduate degree programs to approximately 2,500 students.

Lenoir-Rhyne University seeks to liberate mind and spirit, clarify personal faith, foster physical wholeness, build a sense of community, and promote responsible leadership for service in the world. Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Lenoir-Rhyne promotes diverse campuses open to people from all religious backgrounds.

For additional information, please visit the Lenoir-Rhyne University website at


This newly created, key position will report to the Vice President for Business and Finance and have the opportunity to build his/her IT team. Lenoir-Rhyne University has outsourced many IT operations, and the CIO will be responsible for managing all outsourcing contracts and relationships and helping the university review these contracts and develop IT services staffing strategies.


The top priority for the CIO is to provide technology vision and operational leadership in the development, implementation, and management of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s information technology (IT) resources to support academic quality, program growth, student success, and administrative systems. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop and implement new plans, policies, and programs that will ensure best practices and provide innovative and strategic opportunities to grow IT into a program of distinction within the entire LR campus community.


The CIO will establish oversight and direction for the instructional technology landscape, including classrooms and computerized labs, and inform faculty and administration about trends and innovations in academic and student services’ technologies, investigate and respond to academic, student services’, and administrative technological needs, and identify business process improvement opportunities when possible. The CIO maintains a cross-university focus regarding learning and academic technology needs, such as how they may relate to course delivery options and classroom technologies.

Specific responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide leadership and overall management for the University’s IT strategic plans, budgets, policies, programs, and schedules for business and finance processes, computer services, data integrity and security, network communications, and management information services to accomplish the University’s goals and objectives.
  • Provide exceptional communication capabilities, including clear and transparent information to other executives regarding costs, value, and risk of current technologies and new IT projects.
  • Partner with stakeholders to develop strategic and tactical solutions to meet the needs of the University and its faculty, staff, and students.
  • Provide leadership in evaluating the process of moving technology resources to cloud vendor environment and, if appropriate, managing the transition to the cloud.
  • Provide direction and oversight of IT staff, operations, projects, and issues resolution to meet department and University goals, objectives, and needs.
  • Provide advice and coordination of all projects related to selection, acquisition, development, and installation of major information systems, ensuring appropriate investment in strategic and operational systems, and evaluate systems to measure their success.
  • Develop and manage the annual technology operating and capital budgets for academic, administrative, and infrastructure technology.
  • Review all hardware and software acquisition and maintenance contracts, soliciting involvement and participation of other management, faculty, students, and staff members, as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with the campus community on the development of policies and standards aimed at maximizing effectiveness and minimizing costs related to the acquisition, implementation, and operation of IT systems.
  • Provide oversight for the University’s relationships, interactions, and formal agreements with outsourced and hosted services providers.
  • Develop master purchase or lease agreements for hardware, software, maintenance, and telecommunication services.
  • Maintain contact with technology consultants and suppliers and maintain knowledge of current technology, equipment, prices, and terms of agreements to minimize the investment required to meet established service levels.
  • Evaluate alternative technology solutions, perform appropriate cost-benefit analysis, and recommend solutions that maximize effectiveness and minimize costs commensurate with acceptable risks.
  • Serve as the primary contact for technology consultants, partners, and vendors for sales, service, and support of all information systems and technology.
  • Develop a University IT security strategy and plan to minimize the University’s risk from security attacks, which includes ongoing security assessment, hiring/contracting CISO support, and implementing and testing incident handling processes.
  • Oversee operating policies and processes for the IT End-User Support Services and Help Desk operations, including provision of training.
  • Evaluate existing technology, information systems, and staffing, research new solutions and technologies, and recommend changes based on analysis of their impact to all user requirements in support of the University’s goals and objectives.
  • Plan, develop, evaluate, coordinate, and manage the University’s IT systems including, but not limited to, Ellucian PowerCampus, Canvas LMS, and instructional delivery.
  • Oversee development and enforcement of policy and procedures to ensure the protection of IT assets and the integrity, security, and privacy of information entrusted to or maintained by the University.
  • Support the analysis of and, if needed, the replacement of key administrative systems, when appropriate.
  • Ensure that all information systems and networks operate according to internal standards, external accrediting agency standards, regulatory agencies, and legal requirements.
  • Provide leadership for the development of systems architecture, defining standards and protocols for data exchange, communications, software, and interconnection to other information systems.
  • With fellow University leaders, maintain a robust and comprehensive IT Governance structure to ensure that the gathering, processing, distribution, and use of pertinent information as required to make decisions, occurs in a timely, accurate, and cost-effective manner.
  • Oversee maintenance of a system recovery plan in the event of power failure, damage to system, etc.; direct and facilitate correction of any system failures including root cause analysis.
  • Oversee the development, maintenance, implementation, and communication of systems and user documentation, policies, and procedures, including complete user manuals, FAQs, and help files.
  • Communicate ITS plans, policies, and technology trends throughout the organization, including to management, faculty groups, and staff.
  • Assure proper and appropriate staff development and training to match the technology needs of the University and to build a culture of service within IT.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by University executive leaders.



  • Direct management of a major IT operation, including experience building and leading IT teams.
  • Experience in strategic planning and execution.
  • Experience with IT implementation and integrations in a higher education institution, division, or company.
  • Experience in both shared and outsourced solutions, as well as support of in-house information and communication systems.
  • Experience in a higher education setting desired, specifically in IT systems planning to support business goals, including exposure to both shared and outsourced solutions, as well as support of in-house information and communication systems, student recruitment and retention, learning technologies, and direct IT support services for students, faculty, and staff on multiple campuses and online.


  • Business principles and techniques of administration, organization, and management to include an in-depth understanding of the key business issues that exist in the education industry, which include, but are not limited to, knowledge of strategic and operational planning, and federal, state, and local laws.
  • IT methods, procedures, business processes, and their interrelationship in a higher education environment.
  • Systems design and development process, including requirements analysis, feasibility studies, software design, programming, pilot testing, installation, evaluation, and operational management.
  • Business process analysis and redesign as it relates to instructional and administrative technology and telecommunication.
  • Design, management, and operation of IT systems in a higher education environment.
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS) and support services.
  • Change management principles and practices.
  • Desktop, notebook, handheld, and server computer hardware.
  • Local and wide area network design, implementation, and operation.
  • Operating systems such as Windows and Linux.
  • Various office productivity software programs such as word processing, databases, spreadsheet programs, and communications software.
  • Various computer peripherals such as printers, monitors, modems, and other equipment.


  • Value and work with a diverse campus community, help build a welcoming and inclusive environment, and provide services in an equitable manner.
  • Build and maintain cooperative relationships with all levels of the University community.
  • Plan, implement, and support systems in a complex education environment.
  • Plan, manage, and prioritize projects and other related activities.
  • Manage and lead staff, projects, and teams.
  • Comprehend complex, technical subjects.
  • Translate technical language to various audiences.
  • Align and apply complex technologies to business strategies.
  • Prepare and manage the IT department budget.
  • Negotiate and maintain good relationships with vendors, contractors, and others.
  • Manage the technological interdependencies between the institution and instruction, student services, and support functions.
  • Motivate, educate, and facilitate teams to produce quality materials within tight timeframes and simultaneously manage several projects.
  • Analyze and resolve complex issues, both logical and interpersonal.
  • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Negotiate and defuse conflict.
  • Demonstrate flexibility and creativity in accomplishing work and resolving issues.


  • Bachelor’s degree required in computer science, computer engineering, business administration, public administration, or a related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience with increasing responsibilities for management and support of higher education information systems and information technology.


Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.

Lenoir-Rhyne University is an EOE/AA employer under all applicable civil rights laws. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


Coleman Lew Canny Bowen
6101 Carnegie Blvd., Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28209
Chris Shade, Consultant