Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-President Information Technology

June 14, 2017

Ms. Jennifer Burns

We are pleased to announce that, on the recommendation of President Santa Ono, the Board of Governors has approved the extension of appointment of Ms. Jennifer Burns as Chief Information Officer and her appointment as Associate Vice-President Information Technology, for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2017.

Ms. Burns accepted the role of CIO, for a three-year term, in 2015 following the former CIO’s departure. Her mandate at that time was to ensure overall stability for ongoing projects and to maintain progress in the IT arena.  She has provided exemplary leadership to the University at a time of rapid change in the institution and has demonstrated a vision for excellence in all areas of IT. 

Ms. Burns has an innovative strategic vision, and the dedication to pursue that vision.  Indeed, she possesses an exceptional ability to put the people she works with at ease so that they can better focus on the tasks at hand and produce their best work in devising innovative solutions. Her ability to use this skill to work with people across campus has helped her inspire many in the UBC community, working effectively with faculty members, administrators and members of the IT community.

Some of her accomplishments during this short period of time include: initiating a restructuring in UBC IT to achieve better operational alignment with the university’s learning and research mission, and connecting UBC IT with the broader IT community outside of UBC; working with the Provost’s office, Finance and the UBC Executive to establish a robust IT Capital Planning process for major programs, allowing for better oversight and transparency; working with Enrolment Services to replace the student system (SASI); guiding the procurement of a customer relationship management system (CRM) for undergraduate student recruitment; providing the necessary support to Faculties and units throughout these changes; enhancing the support for teaching and learning at UBC by building stronger, more collaborative relationships within the UBC community and increasing support for classroom technologies and digital media capabilities; and supporting the new initiative, Advanced Research Computing (ARC)--a joint VP Research Office and CIO initiative that enables researchers from all disciplines to access high-performance computing. 

Future plans include development of a workforce strategy for IT staff leading to individual career planning and pathways; cultural realignment across UBC IT to ensure consistency along key principles such as agility, service orientation, and demonstrating value and accountability; and ensuring strong governance in addressing the demands for new programs and projects, managing security risks, while keeping abreast of emerging technologies and advances in areas such as big data. 

To ensure UBC IT is well positioned to address these needs, the Executive recommended that the current CIO role be expanded to become CIO and Associate Vice-President, Information Technology. Ms. Burns’ experience and leadership skills have positioned her well for this newly expanded role. 

Please join us in congratulating Ms. Burns on her accomplishments and wishing her well in this role.

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