January 12, 2010

New technology director suited to University’s decentralized system, admins say

Klara Jelinkova will serve as Chief Information Technology Officer, the University announced Monday. She will be responsible for NSIT and represent the University on IT issues nationwide.

Jelinkova, who will start at the U of C March 1, is currently an information technology administrator at Duke University. At Duke, Jelinkova was in charge of campus e-mail and developing systems to support campus research. She also served for 10 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she centralized data storage and implemented university-wide infrastructure changes.

Chief Financial Officer Nim Chinniah, to whom Jelinkova will report, said he was impressed with her ability to lead Duke through IT changes and her skill at collaborating with faculty, students, and staff. He added that her background at Duke, another large research university, was a key factor in the decision to hire her.

“We do a lot of research across our divisions and we’re decentralized in the way we approach our information technology...which lets deans and faculty have a lot to say about how it’s managed, while accounting, payroll, and alumni networks are managed centrally,” Chinniah said. “Duke has a very similar environment.”

Chinniah said Jelinkova will be in charge of “any new technology we roll out,” and will develop new ways to get feedback on the University’s projects and services. She will also oversee NSIT, which handles campus e-mail, server management, networking, and telephone services.

Jelinkova’s predecessor, former Chief Information Officer Greg Jackson, also represented the University’s technological interests, once testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on copyright infringement on college campuses. Jackson left the University in early September and now works for a nonprofit that advocates for technology-based higher education issues.