The Executive Director of Research IT is part of the Research IT (RIT) Team at Vanderbilt University (VU). This position will provide strategic and tactical management and leadership for all research information technology (IT) efforts in support of all VU colleges and schools. The scope of these efforts will include existing on-premise high-performance computing and storage infrastructure, emerging cloud-based platforms, and end-to-end workflows needed to deliver services in support of research projects. This position will also lead outreach efforts and guide professional technical staff in providing outstanding user experience to VU faculty and researchers. In addition, this position will proactively identify and oversee training, education, and development activities to improve the delivery of robust research IT solutions to VU faculty and researchers. The Executive Director of Research IT will provide a seamless and efficient end-to-end experience for all researchers on campus by managing and coordinating technical staff residing in existing units in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR). This position will report to the Associate Provost for Research Development and Technologies.
Computing and Data Science are emerging as a third paradigm for discovery, complementing theory and experiment. To quote from a recent National Research Council report: "The exploding technology of computers and networks promises profound changes in the fabric of our world... As seekers of knowledge, researchers will be among those whose lives change the most... Researchers themselves will build this New World largely from the bottom up, by following their curiosity down the various paths of investigation that the new tools have opened. It is unexplored territory...." The mission of Research IT at Vanderbilt is to support the very large and growing community of Vanderbilt researchers for whom computing and data science are an essential tool for discovery.
Duties and Responsibilities
Provide strategic leadership to the research technology space and implement best practices to achieve the goals and vision of the RIT Team. Manage and support the RIT Team in coordinating, implementing, and enhancing research IT activities, as well as ensuring prompt and quality service delivery to VU researchers.
Establish and maintain strong and effective relationships with key campus stakeholders. Work with stakeholders to advance research through IT innovation and by leveraging RIT staff skills and expertise as part of researcher engagement efforts more broadly.
Oversee the RIT Services, ACCRE, and DORS Cores and develop strategic plans to improve and expand overall services, as well as to increase Cores revenue, both internally and externally (VUMC, etc.).
Develop extensive knowledge of Vanderbilt's mission, programs, activities, resources, faculty, and research.
Work collaboratively to build community and gain buy-in for strategic decisions across the various other organizations on campus that provide research IT support and expertise (e.g., VUIT, Libraries, Digital Commons).
Actively assist and engage with Vanderbilt researchers who are researching, tracking, and applying for grant funding opportunities and looking for other potential revenue generation opportunities (e.g., developing relationships with institutions and/or funding agencies to provide services for a fee as key personnel on faculty grants).
Oversee the hiring, training, supervision, and retention of RIT staff, and provide opportunities for professional growth that increase the capacity and stability of the team.
Inspire and motivate the RIT Team by fostering a work environment that encourages new ideas and team-based efforts, celebrates achievements, and sets and meets strategic goals.
Develop familiarity with and work within relevant University research and administrative policies and procedures (e.g., budget and finance).
Perform other duties and responsibilities, as assigned.
Supervisory Relationships This position does have supervisory responsibility; this position reports administratively and functionally to the Associate Provost for Research Development and Technologies.
A Bachelor's degree in a related field from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary .
A Master's degree or Ph.D. from an accredited institution of higher education is strongly preferred .
Five years of relevant experience at a research-intensive university.
Demonstrated ability to communicate with, understand the needs of, and build trust with faculty across all research disciplines.
Proven service management experience leading research or related services at a research institution utilizing standard service engagement techniques and practices.
Broad advanced knowledge of the local and national research computing space (e.g. shared HPC, VM and cloud computing, data storage infrastructure, research data management, digital humanities, visualization services, etc.) as demonstrated by publications, presentations, and/or related work in at least one research discipline.
Demonstrated success working in and managing research computing functions and services and a deep understanding of researcher needs regarding secure research data and computation.
Advanced expertise with program-building within a leading academic institution and administrative, budgetary, human resources, and financial principles and practices.
Strong organizational and people management skills and the ability to establish training and development goals and objectives through directing and developing staff members.
A deep understanding of the academic culture of a research-intensive university and the relationship between central services and research services within colleges and schools.
Demonstrated ability to build collaborative partnerships to improve, enhance, or launch new services and support across an institution.
Excellent interpersonal communication skills to develop and maintain professional relationships with campus leadership, department chairs, college/school deans, and faculty at all ranks, as well as other Vanderbilt colleagues across campus.
Proven ability to handle sensitive and/or confidential situations with diplomacy and tact.
Demonstrated success in taking initiative, meeting deadlines, adapting to changing priorities, and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
Ability to function effectively in a complex organizational environment demanding high energy, discretion, patience, enthusiasm, and humor.
Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000419
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.