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Update: Vice chancellor of IT and CIO search

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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear DU community members,

I want to provide an update on our search for the University of Denver’s next vice chancellor of information technology & chief information officer (VCIT & CIO).

As I shared in July, our current VCIT & CIO, Don Harris, will retire on October 9, 2020. While we conduct our search for his permanent replacement, Don has recommended, and I have enthusiastically agreed, to name Gary Starling to serve as interim VCIT & CIO. Gary currently serves as assistant vice chancellor of IT infrastructure and chief information security officer.

Gary has extensive experience as an information technology (IT) professional, with a depth of knowledge in IT security, systems and infrastructure. He has led several major projects that have enhanced the user experience and provided resources for the entire DU community. Under his leadership, DU’s network security has improved dramatically. Gary also understands, first-hand, the importance of cross-unit projects in IT, and has earned the respect of DU’s administration, faculty, staff, and trustees. Because of Gary’s experience, singular professionalism, and leadership capabilities, DU’s IT unit is in excellent hands as we conduct our search. Thank you again, Gary, for stepping in as interim VCIT & CIO. We are grateful to have you in this leadership role. 

I am also pleased to announce that Rohini Ananthakrishnan, assistant vice chancellor of information technology, and Kate Willink, vice provost for faculty affairs, will co-chair the search. Please join me in thanking them for their efforts.

The other members of the committee are:

  • Cathey Barbee, assistant vice chancellor of advancement
  • Deb DeHaas, trustee
  • Rafael Fajardo, associate professor in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Johnny Kim, associate Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work
  • Bobbie Kite, assistant dean in University College
  • Jerron Lowe, interim vice chancellor of human resources
  • Katia Miller, analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis
  • Haluk Ogmen, interim dean of the Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Todd Rinehart, vice chancellor of enrollment
  • Shelly Smith-Acuña, dean of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology

The committee has chosen the search firm, WittKieffer to aid in the search for the DU’s next VCIT & CIO because of their proven commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and demonstrated track record in CIO searches. WittKieffer and the committee commit to building a diverse pool of candidates. Nominations for internal or external candidates can be sent to Nick Giannas ( or Tammy Jackson ( at WittKieffer.

Throughout the search process, the committee will keep the DU community updated. And while the search will remain confidential, the committee will consult with stakeholders across the community to build the leadership profile and participate in the final round of interviews. 

Please feel free to direct any questions, concerns, or ideas to Rohini ( or Kate (


Jeremy Haefner