Director of IT Infrastructure and Security

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

ID: 7194783
Posted: November 17, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary:

Directs McCormick Information Technology Infrastructure and Security for over 225 full-time faculty members, 180 post-doctoral fellows and research associates, 235 staff, and 3,000 students – distributed across 9+ academic departments, 12+ professional masters programs, and faculty research centers and institutes.

Manages and drives the strategic direction and operational excellence for IT infrastructure. Will oversee policy, process, technology, and personnel in efforts to implement, manage, and secure systems for research, education, and administration. Coordinates information security and manages risk mitigation for research grant and contract compliance.

Partners with and extends upon the services offered by Northwestern IT and the Information Security Office to address the needs of faculty and staff within McCormick and partners with Northwestern IT to enhance services. Reports to McCormick's Senior Director of Information Technology.

Specific Responsibilities:


· Strategic Planning - Evaluate and establish strategic direction for infrastructure priorities, technology choices, and initiatives in close consultation with a wide variety of colleagues and constituents. Plans the implementation and improvement of information security technologies and processes in the context of the McCormick School of Engineering. Reviews technology architecture, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans and recommends changes and improvements to increase effectiveness and efficiency in alignment with goals and strategic direction. Encourage discussion from faculty and staff regarding their wants, needs, satisfaction levels, and strategic priorities. Synthesize the information and make judgments about the appropriate products, services, and consulting that can be offered. Coordinate and consult with Northwestern IT and the Information Security Office to determine what products, services, and consulting are best offered at a central level. Discuss and explain these judgments in non-technical terms to faculty and staff, both individually and in groups.

· Operations: Monitor and anticipate new developments in information technology tools and products. Collaborate and coordinate with Northwestern IT and the Information Security Office on implementing policies, processes, and technologies leveraged from central services. Guide the process for deciding which tools, local to McCormick, to adopt, including how and when to implement them -- balancing the competing needs of speed-to-market, execution quality, enhanced offerings, and limited resources.

· People Management : Hire, develop, and motivate IT infrastructure staff members and security analysts. Structure the team’s organization and design staff responsibilities in order to optimize efficiency and teamwork.

· Service / Support : Design and manage high-quality infrastructure, and services inlucidng consulting for faculty and staff. Leverage the products and services offered by Northwestern IT and the Information Security Office as much as possible, given the needs of McCormick faculty and staff. Coordinate product and service offerings with appropriate managers across McCormick and Northwestern. Write clear, customer-focused, service-oriented communications to faculty and staff in order to communicate service upgrades, new or pending information security requirements, status updates and service announcements. Assess opportunities for enhanced use of technology in support of undergraduate and graduate teaching and develop channels to ensure that faculty can easily learn the available technology tools for teaching. Identify opportunities for faculty to utilize new and existing IT services to enhance their research. Promote access to research-oriented services within Northwestern IT, including the high performance and social science computing tools. Continually identify opportunities to enable faculty and staff to utilize their time more efficiently and productively, for instance by streamlining IT services, improving existing tools, introducing new tools, and expediting the learning process.

· Internal / External Partnerships: Build and maintain strong ongoing relationships with all areas of Northwestern IT, in particular the Information Security Office as well as other Northwestern schools and units, and ensure that the needs of faculty and staff are effectively understood. Enable coordination and consultation between the McCormick’s IT staff and Northwestern IT’s staff on design and delivery of new and modified services for end users. Work closely with peers in other schools of Northwestern to share knowledge and coordinate formulation of common needs with various units of Northwestern IT. Ensure that information technology services are positioned to enable McCormick to compete effectively for prospective students and faculty.


Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

· BS degree in computer science or engineering or the equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

· At least 5 years of experience in information technology with significant leadership responsibility.

· At least 5 years of experience in system administration

· At least 3 years of experience coordinating or implementing information security practices in infrastructure or application development

· Excellent interpersonal and communications skills.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

· Broad knowledge and experience with servers and storage including capcity and continuity planning for large-scale computing environments utilizing Linux, Windows, virtual machines and clustering hardware/software.

· Knowledge of information security frameworks controls common in higher education (e.g. NIST CSF, CIS Top 20, NIST 800-171, FISMA, etc.)

· Ability to manage a diverse group of information technology professionals as a cohesive team.

· Proven success in building, motivating, and retaining IT professionals

· Ability to work with a diverse set of constituents, maintaining high customer service standards.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Successful completion of a full course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a master’s or higher degree.

· A cybersecurity-focused certification, such as CISSP

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

· Experience implementing information security regulations and control frameworks in a research and education environment

· Leading and managing IT in a higher education or similar environments.