Chris Kielt begins role as UNC's permanent Chief Information Officer
When Chris Kielt officially began as the University’s chief information officer July 1, he will already know his way around the office.
Kielt has served as the interim vice chancellor for information technology since February, when former ITS leader Larry Conrad left for a similar position at the University of California, Berkeley.
Because the chief information officer oversees long-term initiatives such as providing more extensive database services and improving server storage, Kielt said he will be listening closely to the senior leadership of the department for ways to improve the University’s technological services.
“I think one of the ways you try to lead effectively first and foremost is recognize the value of the women and men who work in this area,” he said.
As vice chancellor for information technology, all of the senior management in Information Technology Services will report to Kielt.
Executive Director of ITS Stan Waddell, who works under Kielt, said Kielt has already become an integral part of accomplishing the department’s goals.
He said Kielt has been leading the department in initiatives such as expanding wireless coverage and enhancing the University’s telephone system.
“We’ve been working together just under six months now, and I’ve found his approach to leadership a very good one,” Waddell said.
Waddell said when Kielt came into the position, one of his first acts of leadership was asking the department leaders to compare their services to the services of peer institutions. Keilt then used that information to make long-term strategic goals.
Kielt said he looks forward to expanding the University’s technological infrastructure to stay on par with other collegiate institutions.
“I think he’s going to be a great asset to the University,” Waddell said.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney said an internal hire like Kielt’s is unusual.
“It’s not often they hire someone from the inside without a search,” he said.
But Carney said Kielt’s impressive leadership as interim vice chancellor and his extensive experience in information technology at Stony Brook University and Yale University, where he was the deputy CIO for over 20 years, made him the obvious choice.
Despite his extensive career in higher education, Kielt said he still looks forward to the work that he does.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” he said.
“Each day I wake up I remind myself it’s not a dream. Being here and working at a great University. It’s a great privilege and honor.”
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