Robert Cook, U of T’s Chief Information Officer, has signaled his intention to retire.
First employed by the university in 1971 as a theatre animator at the University College Playhouse, Bob returned to head the Technology for Enhancing Learning Centre at the Faculty of Education in 1990, moved to OISE with the merger of 1996, and became the university’s inaugural CIO in 2008. Under his leadership, the university has made significant investment in information technology to support student, faculty and staff success. His administrative integration of infrastructure and HR, Finance, HR, LMS, telecommunications and many other services revealed the interdependence of data and opportunities for enhanced operability with divisional services. The Information Technology Services (ITS) team has collaborated with academic and administrative stakeholders to renew the central administrative data centre and the tri-campus wireless network; strengthened the profile of information security through Policy and services; expanded the Academic Toolbox and Online Learning professional services; initiated the Next Generation Student Information Services program; and introduced the university to cloud services.
From the beginning, Bob has been a constant and articulate advocate for the alignment of support services to the academic agenda. University Operations as it exists now benefitted greatly in its conception from Bob’s support of the amalgamation of other central services to ensure efficiency and collaboration in support of teaching, learning and research. Through Bob’s facilitation, U of T has achieved a progressive relationship between academic and administrative IT, and moved U of T into the vanguard of innovative approaches to student systems and teaching/learning technology. Bob’s work has established a legacy that provides the foundation for a next great leap forward.
To further enhance the alignment of information technology to the university’s mission, the next CIO will be an academic appointee. Reporting jointly to the Vice-President University Operations and to the Vice-President and Provost, the CIO will provide strategic vision and leadership to the university’s use of information technology for teaching, learning, research and enabling administrative activities. An administratively appointed Deputy CIO will collaborate with the CIO in strategy and operations, including the administration of university-wide academic and administrative systems and services. Bob has agreed to serve until the search for his replacements is concluded. Postings for both positions will appear shortly.
It has been an immense pleasure and honour working with Bob and I very much appreciate his deep commitment to the UofT community.
Vice-President University Operations