Over the summer, University President Peter Salovey created several new leadership roles, including a new position in his cabinet — vice president, information technology — supporting Yale’s commitment to “equip members of our community with the digital resources necessary to teach, learn, and pursue new knowledge.” and solutions to pressing global challenges.”
University President Peter Salovey recently announced the appointment of John Barden to a new role in the university cabinet, Vice President for Information Technologyin addition to his previous role as Chief Information Officer.
This new University Officer-level role elevates Bard to serve as a member of the University Cabinet, Salovey’s advisory board. While Barden’s focus will not change, having previously overseen IT systems, he will report to Jack Callahan, senior vice president of operations, and will be involved in university-wide discussions.
“An organization with 320 years of history doesn’t create new officer-level positions very often,” Barden told the News. “I believe that senior leaders realized that it was time to recognize our dependency and our need to have a good and solid digital infrastructure. [and] had reached the point where Increasing the role seemed like an appropriate decision.”
This new role points to the university’s ongoing goals to strengthen its digital infrastructure amid a major network refresh and continued efforts to streamline hybrid and virtual options for university staff.
Barden said the role represents “a reflection of progress” that will increase visibility and collaboration across the university.
“The improved organizational structure will also align the CIO position with other roles reporting directly to the senior vice president of operations, including vice presidents of facilities, finance and human resources, as well as most of our peer schools. ‘ Salovey and Callahan wrote in a joint announcement.
In which Message of June 24th Writing to the Yale community, Salovey and Callahan said that Yale “has long had a responsibility to create and share knowledge that improves the world for this and future generations,” noting that information technology is “essential to that mission.” be. They also added that the pandemic has fueled this latest push for modernization.
Barden agreed that the modernization his team is working on was wanted long before the pandemic exposed the university’s reliance on technology.
“When I started here five years ago, I think you could say people weren’t very happy with the evolution of information technology given the complexity and needs of the institution,” Barden told the News.
Callahan said there is an infrastructure component in IT where the university was “mediocre” before Barden came to Yale and that investments in IT were not “well coordinated” in the past.
Given the university’s size, Callahan emphasized the importance of information technology as it is used to facilitate and support research, administrative human resources systems and clinical practice.
Barden told the news that his team’s work is focused on supporting the university’s mission in these various facets of information technology.
“We’ve tried to align all of our information technology work through the lens of the institution’s four missions,” Barden said. “So we really talked about academic priorities, research priorities, clinical priorities and priorities for cultural heritage and museums. And by turning it that way, we’ve started talking less about technology and more about institutional goals, and positioning information technology as an enabler to those goals.”
During Barden’s time at Yale, he was involved in the development of the program management and operations excellence team, as well as the development of Yale’s One IT, which makes it easier for students and faculty to find resources online.
Barden was also involved in the ongoing campus network modernization project, which began in 2020 and has over 10,000 devices in need of replacement. The network refresh is almost complete at the Yale School of Medicine and is expected to be complete for the rest of the university in about three years, Barden said.
Today, Barden told the news he is focused on developing “multiple instructional modalities” as well as supporting the increasingly computational research happening at Yale. Many of these issues are school specific, such as the Yale School of Nursing and Yale School of Management, where some classes may be offered online in the future.
In addition to developing virtual learning options, Barden said Yale is working with some of its vendors to prototype hybrid options that could be used for university staff.