March 8, 2023
Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
As we continue to realize the vision of our strategic plan, Change Starts Here, today I am announcing important leadership and organizational changes in our campus information technology and finance functions. Given the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape and the impact this move will have on our athletics program, student athletes and the university, I am grateful we are able to accelerate our transition in a way that will benefit all the involved institutions.
Jeff Neyland, who joined UT in August 2022 as a consulting advisor to the president for technology, will take on an expanded consulting role as chief strategist for IT transformation, reporting to me, effective April 3. Since arriving at UT, Jeff has been collaborating with university administration and IT leaders and staff members across campus to develop an information technology strategy and road map to modernize our infrastructure, systems, processes and data. A critical step on this road map will be hiring a chief information officer (CIO), and Jeff will lead our IT transformation while we continue to design our campus-wide approach for this important function, build organizational capabilities and prepare for a national search for a permanent CIO.
It is critical that our technology organizations work together more closely as we modernize our IT capabilities. As a result, I have also asked Jeff in his new role to lead and align our central campus IT teams, which currently report variously into the president, provost and chief financial officer organizations. Effective April 3, Information Technology Services (ITS), led by Trice Humpert; Enterprise Business Information Technology Solutions (eBits), led by Heather Hanna; Data to Insights (D2I), led by consultant Brad Wheeler; and Academic Information Services (AIS), led by Graham Chapman, will all report to Jeff.
Uniting these groups under one leader will help us build a stronger, more cohesive foundation to transform IT in ways that enhance the overall campus experience for all Longhorns while improving learning, research and operational outcomes across the university. This organizational change will not alter the reporting structure for IT leaders and staff members in the Information Security Office (ISO), Institutional Reporting, Research and Information Systems (IRRIS), or in the colleges, schools and units (CSUs). IT roles in these units will continue to work closely with the central university team to implement critical information technology initiatives.
Previously, I informed you of Darrell Bazzell’s planned departure from the university. Today, I am pleased to announce that Dan Slesnick, professor in the Department of Economics and former senior vice provost for resource management, has agreed to take on the role of interim vice president and chief financial officer, effective March 20. Dan will oversee the following functions within the Financial and Administrative Services (FAS) portfolio: Accounting and Financial Management, led by Lori Peterson; Budget, led by Justin Pickens; Procurement and Payment Services, led by Roy Anasagasti; FAS Business Services, led by Tatiana Calliham; Human Resources, led by Adrienne Howarth-Moore; Campus Services, led by Marla Martinez; UTPD, led by Don Verett; Campus Safety, led by Jimmy Johnson; Information Security, led by Cam Beasley; Utilities and Energy Management, led by Xavier Rivera Marzán; FAS Communications, led by Kerri Battles; and the CFO Administrative Support team members.
Please join me once again in thanking Darrell for his unwavering dedication to our university and our mission, and also congratulating and thanking Jeff and Dan for taking on these interim leadership roles during these transitional periods. Delivering on our research and teaching missons is highly dependent on these essential functions, and I am confident that they will help move our organizations forward in support of increasing impact and changing the world.