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VP for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Gandel stepping down to join iSchool faculty
Paul B. Gandel G’86, who has served as Syracuse University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer (CIO) since November 2004, today announced that he is stepping down to teach full time as a professor of information studies in the School of Information Studies (iSchool).
Gandel has been instrumental in modernizing the University’s technology infrastructure and IT support services to ensure that SU remains competitive with the growing demands of providing high-quality information resources for research, teaching and student learning environments.
“Paul has developed a great team within the Division of Information Technology and Services that has worked very well and collaboratively to advance the University’s technology infrastructure and IT services,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “I am very pleased that Paul will remain in our community on the iSchool faculty and know that he will continue to enhance the excellence of SU.”
With the move, Gandel says he welcomes the opportunity to devote more time to research and working with students. “While I will certainly miss my role as vice president for information technology and CIO, I am looking forward to returning to the faculty of the School of Information Studies,” he says. “I’m very excited about working with my colleagues in the iSchool on a number of projects already under way, including a recently funded NSF project to develop the next generation of information professionals who will support the emerging cyberinfrastructure.”
“Having an experienced CIO teaching students who aspire to that position is a tremendous opportunity for us,” says Elizabeth D. Liddy, iSchool dean. “Paul’s experience as chief information officer at the University of Rhode Island, Ohio University and Syracuse University, along with his education in library and information science, will enhance and enliven the real world aspects of our courses in the iSchool.”
When asked which of his many accomplishments at SU have been most rewarding, Gandel replied that building a new and invigorated IT culture of excellence, teamwork, professionalism and service to the University community has been most important to implementing his vision at SU.
Gandel has worked to advance the institutional IT culture at the University, most directly articulated in the 2005 organizational name change from “Computing and Media Services” to “Information Technology and Services (ITS).” Inherent in the name change was an organizational vision that SU information technology connects the University community with the IT people and resources they need to help realize the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action. Guided by this vision, Gandel says ITS has achieved an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration throughout the entire SU IT community and with external partners-relationships that transcend campus and organizational boundaries and reporting structures.
Internally, the most visible example of this organizational vision is the Technology Leadership Committee, a multi-college and multi-unit information technology leadership team that collaborates on technology issues that impact the entire campus.
During his tenure as CIO, Gandel launched several major technology initiatives that are improving SU’s campus technology infrastructure. A $31.3 million upgrade to the University’s network infrastructure launched in 2006 is now 50 percent complete. The new network was designed to provide students, faculty and staff with the tools and connectivity necessary to remain engaged and competitive in the 21st-century digital world.
In 2006, Gandel and ITS led a campus-wide effort to establish the campus’ first unified, enterprise-wide directory and unified messaging service-the Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange/Outlook e-mail. The project, completed earlier this year, required the cooperation and active participation of technology professionals from across the entire organizational structure of the University.
To improve the operational efficiency and accountability of IT services, Gandel implemented a new online management and tracking system for all IT projects and routine operations. Gandel has also made it a priority for ITS to enhance system security and emergency data recovery procedures; to expand the use of course management systems; and to reduce the time, disruption and cost of completing major upgrades to the University’s administrative systems. Gandel and his leadership team also initiated a plan to save energy and reduce technology costs through the virtualization and consolidation of computing hardware and applications across campus.
Gandel has managed several technology and information organizations, including libraries and public radio and television stations. Prior to coming to SU, he was CIO and dean of libraries at the University of Rhode Island. There he initiated and was a founding member of OSHEAN, a regional information network serving higher education, K-12 education, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations. Earlier in his career, Gandel was CIO at Ohio University and was a member of the research staff and technology supervisor at Bell Laboratories.
Throughout his career in higher education, Gandel has held several leadership roles in EDUCAUSE, the premier North American association of higher education IT professionals, and has been a board member of many other regional and national professional organizations.
Associate CIO Sedore named interim VP/CIO
Christopher Sedore, associate CIO and chief technology strategist, has been named interim vice president and CIO, responsible for the day-to-day management of the ITS unit.
“Chris Sedore is the ideal person to step in and serve as interim CIO, as he has been a key leader within ITS, has worked both in the schools/colleges and in the central administration, and is widely respected both on and off campus for his technical acumen and leadership,” Spina says.
In a new collaborative reporting structure, ITS will be overseen jointly by Spina and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Louis G. Marcoccia. Spina will provide day-to-day leadership, and he and Marcoccia will work with the interim CIO on strategic directions and ensure that ITS is providing central technology support across both the academic and administrative functions of the University.
Sedore has served as associate CIO since August 2007 and director of network and systems management and chief technology strategist since October 2005. He has been responsible for administrative and academic computing, the campus network and server infrastructure, the datacenter, telecommunications and oversight of distributed support. As chief technology strategist, he has advised the CIO on technology directions for the University. He is also past chair of the Technology Leadership Committee.
Before moving to ITS, Sedore was an IT professional in the Maxwell School for more than 11 years, lastly as director of Maxwell’s Information and Computing Technology Group. Sedore’s work has focused primarily on the management and application of technology. He has contributed to the development of open-source operating systems and network applications, and he has worked on the broader application of technology to collaboration, education and research with University partners in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Israel, Italy and Peru.