Normally, this space is used for a message from our CIO Brad Englert to update you with news about all the things happening relating to the use of technology on our campus. This week, I am hijacking Brad’s normal CIO letter to the University to instead take the opportunity to talk about our CIO.
I am very pleased to announce today that our friend and colleague Brad Englert, the Chief Information Officer at UT-Austin, has been awarded the InnoTech IT Executive of the Year.
Brad and I started at UT at about the same time over seven years ago. At the time, Brad was “consulting” at an “hour a week” pro bono, before taking on the CIO role. Since his full time start, the list of accomplishments (all in a challenging budget environment) has been long. Brad has overseen the modernization of massive parts of the technology infrastructure – replacing the telephony system with a state-of-the art VoIP system, replacing the dated student email system UT branded, data-mining free Gmail, rolling out Canvas to support the teaching and learning infrastructure, replacing aging datacenters, revamping the IT Service Desk, adding cloud services to campus such as UT Box, creating the LIFT program to support IT innovation, now tackling the aging administrative systems with the migration to WorkDay, and the list goes on.
Brad has also changed how the business of IT runs on the campus, creating a more accountable and transparent organization. In his first year, he created a governance structure that incorporated the voice of campus into the IT decision making process, which I have been privileged to participate in. He sponsors, co-teaches and leads learning sessions on information policy, management information systems, aspects of information security, and the professional world of IT. He sponsors several internships through his office, holds dinners and engagement sessions with students—allowing them access to high-level IT leaders, and serves as a career mentor for students. He connects the classroom to the professional world, helps students learn, and leads students to job opportunities.
A number of Brad’s colleagues have weighed in on the job Brad has done as well, and here’s what they’ve said:
“Brad, this honor is well-deserved! They could not have picked a more deserving person. In the midst of tough times, and there will always be tough times in a business that changes as fast as IT does, there usually is a nugget of hope hiding under the covers somewhere. Let this be a portent for the future. Congratulations!” -Dennis Passovoy, Faculty
“While Brad wears many hats on campus as CIO, he is also a leader and mentor for students like me. Brad is always supportive of my endeavors and goes out of his way to give any help that he can. He is dedicated to providing opportunities for students to grow and learn here at UT. No award could be enough to express the deep gratitude his students and employees have for his commitment to our campus.“ -Christy Tran, Student
“It has been such an honor to work with you on our current project. Know that I have the ultimate respect for your humble yet fierce leadership that carries ITS through ups and downs. You are patient, wise, and planned – we are truly graced that you chose to stick around. Thank you for everything Brad.” -Carol Lee, Staff
“This is certainly a well-deserved honor for Brad and UT Austin; a heartfelt congratulations Brad! And we know there will be even more successes in the future.” -Your friends and colleagues in the UT System Office of the CIO (Marc, Marg, Jim, Clair, Preston, and Zain)
“Well my friend, it all started a decade ago with SITAC in a small room at the AT&T Conference Center, and look how far we’ve come! Congratulations, and thanks much from us all for your outstanding leadership.” -Pat Davis, Faculty
“Brad’s commitment to the university shows every day. He rises to each challenge, he sets a high, but not unreasonably high bar, helping us grow and reach our potential. He strives to work across campus to better IT, not just for ITS, but all of the IT shops on campus. He listens, thinks, and then reacts – he’s got that in the right order. He supports his team, truly meaning “family first”, and mentors many of us across campus. I couldn’t ask for a better boss.” -Julienne VanDerZiel, Staff
Brad has made a difference for our campus. Please join me in thanking Brad for his many contributions, and offering congratulations on being Acknowledged as IT Executive of the Year.
Dan Stanzione, PhD