Chancellor's Communique

Announcing Information Technology Leadership Appointments - 5-6-21

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to announce two leadership appointments to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Information Technology. Both represent our commitment to bolstering the information services and resources essential to keeping our university at the leading edge of innovation, as well as our continued active engagement with various CU systemwide information systems projects, priorities and initiatives. 

I am proud to announce the naming of Christopher Smith as Vice Chancellor for Information Systems and Services, effective June 1, 2021. Chris serves currently as Associate Dean of Administration and Finance for the CU School of Medicine, as well as Technology Strategy Officer for our campus, and he has been a part of CU Anschutz for a decade in a number of leadership positions. He brings a wealth of experience in higher education and healthcare as well as broad and deep expertise to this role, having served in information technology and services, business intelligence, and finance and administration capacities.

In this new role, Chris will work closely with the senior leadership team, setting forth a vision for our digital transformation strategy and ecosystem, and guiding continuous evolution in our approach to new and emerging information technology services. He will manage the development and improvement of solutions that are integrated with our mission areas and strategic priorities as an institution. In this capacity, Chris will oversee our broad portfolio of information and data services, including technologies that support artificial intelligence, modeling, simulation and analytics, as well as business integration and analysis, classroom and lab technology, core infrastructure and many other areas. Among his priorities will be the development of strategies for strengthening collaboration across campus and the CU system, and facilitating access to leading-edge research technologies, including high-performance computing, and data visualization and analytics. Chris will report to Executive Vice Chancellor Terri Carrothers, and serve as part of the executive management team.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Morris as Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, effective May 1, 2021. Laura has graciously served our campus in an interim CIO capacity as we completed a search for this role, and we are excited that she will continue to lead in this position on a permanent basis going forward. Laura has a wide range of experience as a technology leader, having served in roles spanning higher education, government and industry. She joined the university in 2017, first as program manager for web services and later as director of enterprise application services, and has a demonstrated track record of advancing change in areas essential to our operations.

As CIO, Laura will provide oversight, strategy and leadership for information resources and technologies that support our academic, research and clinical missions. These include academic and project management technologies, core infrastructure, security and regulatory compliance, telecommunications, business integration and analysis, classroom and lab technology, online integration, desktop support and services, and ancillary support functions. Her expertise and experience are valuable for fostering collaboration and building partnerships that meet institutional needs while also leading to new opportunities. Laura will manage our campus team of information technology directors. She will report to Vice Chancellor Chris Smith, and serve as part of the executive leadership team.

Both Chris and Laura were selected after a rigorous search for their distinctive roles. In addition to leading our information technology and services efforts at CU Anschutz, they will together provide support for our consolidated CU Denver | Anschutz Office of Information Technology, in partnership with OIT leadership at CU Denver. This structure affords each campus strategic leadership focused on our specific issues and opportunities, while also sustaining the robust core information management structure essential to our consolidated entity as we grow and innovate in all of our mission areas.

It is a privilege to have proven leaders as forward-thinking and accomplished as Chris and Laura among our ranks at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. As we look to what is next for our campus, they will play an integral role in driving continued progress. Please join me in congratulating them on their new roles.

Don Elliman
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