February 14, 2003
To: Campus Community
From: Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor John Simpson
Re: Message from John Simpson: appointment of Larry Merkley
I am pleased to announce the establishment of the position of Vice Provost, Information Technology (IT) at UC Santa Cruz, and the appointment of Mr. Larry Merkley to that position, effective February 11, 2003.
The Vice Provost, Information Technology will report directly to the Campus Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor, and will serve as a member of the Chancellorís Cabinet. Mr. Merkley has been advising the campus as an IT consultant for the past two years and I am very pleased to be able now to welcome him as a permanent member of the campus community.
The Vice Provost, Information Technology is a new position on the campus. It has been created directly as a result of the campusís ten-year Planning Process. The creation of this position now and the appointment of Mr. Merkley is an appropriate response to the budgetary challenges presently confronting the University, and the critical and central role that IT-based solutions will assume in the campus response to this. The Vice Provost, Information Technology will guide campuswide strategic IT planning and policy formulation. Responsibilities include the oversight of the campusí IT infrastructure, the application of IT to the instruction and research program as well as campus business processes, and coordination of IT issues across organizational boundaries.
In addition to broad campuswide IT leadership responsibilities, Vice Provost Merkley will have management responsibility for a new Enterprise Technology and Media organization established to leverage and coordinate campus IT resources. The core of this new unit will be comprised of the current Computing and Telecommunications Services and Media Services organizations, formerly reporting to the Vice Chancellor of Business and Administrative Services and the University Librarian, respectively. These units have provided the campus with a strong baseline of services and operation, and I would like to acknowledge and thank sincerely Vice Chancellor Vani and Librarian Dyson for their leadership in these critical areas.
As part of the restructuring, I also am aligning within the new Enterprise Technology and Media organization the IT staff and budget resources from my office as well as the following central academic administrative units: the Chancellorís Office; Academic Human Resources; Planning and Budget; Graduate Studies; Sponsored Projects; Academic Senate; the Title IX and EEO/AA offices; and International Education. The new Enterprise Technology and Media organization will provide the campus with technology leadership and project management expertise to deliver competitive instructional and research services, support productivity improvements for faculty and staff, and oversee and support campuswide IT initiatives and projects.
As a prelude to further decisions concerning the campus IT organization, priorities, and initiatives, I have requested that Vice Provost Merkley immediately evaluate the present situation of campus IT resources, including staffing, budget, and policy.
Information technology is a key component to the infrastructure supporting the Universityís instruction and research mission, and its administrative operations. As such, it is an important factor in maintaining our excellence as an institution of higher education. From policy development to hardware maintenance and computing security to instructional computing support, the campus has created an operational model within which it is difficult to plan strategically, optimize resources, develop best practices, or create flexible processes with the capacity to meet evolving needs. Campus long-range planning recognized this shortcoming and identified a critical need for senior leadership in the area of IT. Extensive discussion with Academic Senate and administrative committees, as well as with Deans and Vice Chancellors,informed the decision to establish the Vice Provost position.
Mr. Merkley is uniquely qualified for the role he is assuming. The engagement of technology to effect organizational change has been a central theme throughout his career, both in the private sector and the academy. He has been a consultant to higher education for many years, advising on organizational and project-specific issues and recommending strategic approaches in both administrative and academic computing. He is well known already by many individuals on campus for his consulting work regarding IT and general management issues.
Larry Merkley received his MBA from Brigham Young University in 1969. From 1969 to 1981, he held positions as manager and consultant in mostly private sector organizations providing support and direction in areas of institutional investment management, economic analysis and corporate planning. From 1981 to 2000 he served on the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, where he was an Associate Professor of Information Systems. While at the University of Lethbridge, he held a number of positions as a faculty administrator, including Associate Dean of the Faculty of Management, and Associate Vice-President of Administration.
I welcome the leadership, management experience and expertise that Mr. Merkley brings to the campus.