Bowdoin College, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious liberal arts colleges, is seeking a creative and collaborative leader to serve as the senior vice president and chief information officer (SVP/CIO). Reporting to the president and as a member of the President’s Senior Staff, the SVP/CIO will facilitate all aspects of information technology strategy, foster innovation, and guide the institution to discover new ways to use technology to support its mission. The new SVP/CIO will join a dynamic leadership team and talented staff with the expectation that the successful candidate will foster conversation and create a vision that defines Bowdoin’s digital future in teaching, scholarship, constituent engagement and operations.
About Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College has maintained its commitment to the liberal arts since its founding in 1794. Its mission is to engage students of uncommon promise in an intense full-time education of their minds, exploration of their creative facilities, and development of their social and leadership abilities. Bowdoin’s reputation as a preeminent liberal arts college rests on the excellence of its faculty, students, and staff; strong sense of community; and connections to the people, history, and natural beauty of Maine.
William DeWitt Hyde’s “The Offer of the College” lies at the heart of Bowdoin. Written in 1906 by the seventh president of the College, The Offer spelled out a vision of the aspirations of a liberal education appropriate to the early twentieth century, and it is as relevant as ever. Bowdoin facilitates intellectual development and personal growth in the context of an active and engaged learning community focused on the common good. To prepare students for a complex and ever-changing world, the College provides a foundation that challenges them to understand, analyze, appreciate, and contend with the challenges and opportunities they will face, and to do so by effectively engaging those with differing experiences, perspectives, and values.
Bowdoin College has a strong financial foundation in place to support its mission. The College’s 2015-2016 total operating expenses were approximately $155 million. Valued at $1.4 billion on June 30, 2015, approximately 46 percent of the College’s endowment is devoted to the support of student financial aid.
Bowdoin has a beautiful campus located in Brunswick, Maine, a town of approximately 20,000 on the Maine coast, twenty-five miles from Portland and 120 miles from Boston. The 207-acre main campus is organized around a central quadrangle and comprises nearly 120 buildings. They range from Massachusetts Hall, completed in 1802, to the College’s newest academic building, the Robert H. and Blythe Bickel Edwards Center for Art and Dance, which opened in 2013 after a complete renovation. The campus also features LEED-certified residence halls; the acclaimed John J. Studzinski Recital Hall; Sidney J. Watson Arena, the first LEED-certified hockey arena in the United States; and the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness, the College’s 44,659-square-foot health and wellness facility. Currently under construction, and scheduled to open in the Fall of 2018, is the Roux Center for the Environment, a LEED Platinum building that will bring together scholars and students from across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Bowdoin's 118-acre Schiller Coastal Studies Center, located eight miles from campus on Orr’s Island, opened in 1998, and a recent gift will allow the College to construct a state-of-the-art dry laboratory connected to the Center’s existing marine laboratory, along with a convening center that will include modernized classrooms, housing, and dining facilities for students, faculty, and visiting scholars.
Bowdoin has 240 faculty members who are nationally respected scholars, dedicated educators, performers, researchers, and artists. With a priority around student and faculty engagement, Bowdoin maintains a student-faculty ratio of 9:1 and has thirty academic departments and programs and seven special areas. Sixty-eight percent of class sections have fewer than twenty students. Bowdoin is one of the most active research institutions among liberal arts colleges today with hundreds of students engaged in faculty-mentored research each year.
As a highly selective institution, Bowdoin College in 2018-2019 enrolls approximately 1,800 students representing forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and thirty-one foreign countries. Students of color account for 31.5 percent of the student body, while 12 percent of students are the first in their family to attend college. Five percent of students are international, and 9.6 percent are from Maine. Admission to Bowdoin is highly selective: the College admitted about 15 percent of its 6,800 applicants to the Class of 2020. As a residential college, Bowdoin has almost 90 percent of its students living on campus, and all first-year students live in one of eight residential halls.
Clayton S. Rose took office as the fifteenth president of Bowdoin on July 1, 2015. As president, he has underscored the essential importance of liberal arts education and the themes of discourse and inclusion–specifically, that a central mission of the College is to be a place of vigorous and respectful intellectual engagement on the most challenging and uncomfortable ideas. Rose also continues to stress that Bowdoin is a community where everyone will have the opportunity for an equally robust experience, regardless of economic status, background, or identity.
About IT at Bowdoin
The SVP/CIO will provide leadership to a staff of fifty and a service portfolio comprising Academic Technology and Consulting, Infrastructure Services, Enterprise Application Services, and User Services. The SVP/CIO will also collaborate with leadership, faculty, and staff across the College to deliver critical technology services and solutions.
Information technology (IT) systems and capabilities are very strong, and the individuals on the Bowdoin IT team are highly talented and dedicated to the College. This search and these strengths provide the College with the opportunity to do even more with technology and information management to further the mission of the liberal arts education and, in particular, to enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship. With that in mind, Bowdoin seeks in the next CIO the experiences and skills to focus on several areas, including:
Maintaining and enhancing the high reliability, functionality, and responsiveness of our current system and capabilities;
Attracting and developing talented colleagues;
Partnering with individuals and groups across the campus, particularly with our faculty; and
Having the sensibility of a “digital innovator” with a willingness to experiment—in particular and critically, in understanding where technology is moving, what we might do differently, and where we can enhance or transform great teaching, learning, and scholarship.
Qualifications and Experience
The successful candidate will have excellent leadership, management, interpersonal and communications skills. The ability to listen, synthesize, mediate, lead, explain and communicate at all levels will be critical. The College seeks a leader with a track record of innovation and creativity in the application and management of technology. A bachelor’s degree is required. At least three years as a chief information officer in a comparably sized organization, or equivalent experience as a deputy in a larger organization, is strongly preferred. The individual should have an understanding of the values of a liberal arts institution, a working knowledge of the strategic issues facing higher education, and a broad perspective on leading IT practices in higher education or closely related industries. It is preferable that candidates have many of the following experiences:
Establishing and nurturing relationships and effective collaborations with faculty, students and staff to implement strategies and design services and operate jointly led projects.
Anticipating leading-edge trends in technology and positioning the College to take appropriate risk, use technologies in new ways, and effectively make technology adoption decisions.
Supporting the integration and adoption of technology to create distinct educational experiences and excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship.
Fostering a culture of trusted partnership, service, and continuous improvement.
Developing an IT plan that balances the need to maintain a strong foundation of IT infrastructure, services, and solutions while pursuing innovation.
Leading development and implementation of cloud strategies.
Effectively managing large capital and operating budgets.
Identifying and managing technology-related risks including those related to information security, privacy, and disaster recovery.
Navigating challenging labor markets to attract and retain a diverse high performing team of IT professionals.
Developing future IT leaders and facilitating the professional development of the IT workforce.
Inquiries, and nominations may be directed in confidence to Next Generation partners, Mary Beth Baker, Managing Partner - firstname.lastname@example.org; or Phil Goldstein, Managing Partner - email@example.com. For full consideration please email cover letter and application to: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday October 20, 2017.
Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until a successful candidate is identified. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer