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Miami seeks to hire a new VP for IT

Victoria Farnsworth
Victoria Farnsworth

Photo by photoeditor | The Miami Student
David Seidl

Photo by photoeditor | The Miami Student
Susan Scott

Photo by photoeditor | The Miami Student
Mark MacNaughton

The Information Services department is conducting a search for a new vice president and chief information officer (CIO) after J. Peter Natale retired last spring.

It is the highest paid job in the IT department, and Natale's total salary of just over $246,000 last year was the fifth highest-paid VP position on campus, according to Miami's 2017 annual salary roster.

"We are seeking an experienced, collaborative and visionary leader with exemplary communication skills to provide the necessary strategy, technology platforms and systems to influence every aspect of campus life," said Ted Pickerill, secretary to the board of trustees and executive assistant to the university president. Pickerill is heading the search.

The selection process for applicants included securing approval from the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, closed interviews with hiring officials and then open interviews in which the public could ask questions of each candidate.

The final four candidates are David Seidl, Susan Scott, Mark MacNaughton and Victoria Farnsworth. Three of these candidates -- Seidl, Scott and Farnsworth-- are currently employed at different universities, while MacNaughton is an outsider to academia.

David Seidl is the senior director of campus technology services at the University of Notre Dame. He has held various information security positions at Notre Dame since he first started working there in 2008. Before that, he worked in information security at Purdue University for four years. He has a broad technical background, and he emphasized his success in staff engagement and building strong relationships.

Susan Scott is the associate CIO at the University of Dayton, where she has worked in technology, accounting and administrative positions since 1999. She has extensive management, finance and tech experience.

Victoria Farnsworth is the executive director of enterprise solutions in the IT department at Purdue University. She highlighted her skills in management, communications and problem solving. In addition, she has co-authored several publications in the IT field.

Mark MacNaughton is the senior vice president at Cardinal Health, a healthcare company in Columbus, OH. He has a background in business and IT security, strategy and architecture, as well as experience doing business internationally, especially in Europe and Asia. He is also a Miami graduate from the class of 1987.

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At the open interviews, Miami faculty expressed a particular interest in the candidates' thoughts on and experiences in such topics as accessible technology for people with disabilities, high performance computing (in which supercomputers aggregate large amounts of computing power to solve large problems) in higher education and the role of a central IT office as opposed to smaller, departmentalized IT offices in the student experience.

President Gregory Crawford, assisted by the selection committee, will make the final hiring decision. However, Crawford is currently in Luxembourg, and Pickerill could not say for certain when the decision will be announced.