CIO Mark Askren to step down, transition to senior advisor role
University of Nebraska Vice President and Chief Information Officer Mark Askren, who led the development of the OneIT system that unified and strengthened information technology work across the university, has decided to step down at the end of June, President Hank Bounds said today.
Askren, NU vice president since 2016 and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s CIO for the past decade, will transition to a senior advisor role in which he will continue to advance IT strategy across the university.
“Mark has been a transformational leader for the University of Nebraska. Together with his talented team, he has built a more collaborative, more efficient IT system that positions us well for the future,” Bounds said. “I understand Mark’s desire to try something new after 10 years of IT leadership. I’m grateful he has agreed to stay on in a role that will allow us to continue to benefit from his deep experience, visionary thinking and good counsel.”
Askren said: “The 10 years working with my colleagues at UNL, and the last three with colleagues across the University of Nebraska system, have been the highlight of my career. I could not have asked to serve alongside more talented and committed people. Their work in transforming Information Technology Services will benefit the university, our students, faculty and staff for years to come. I am grateful to them and to President Bounds for the opportunity to continue to be a part of this university.”
Askren came to the University of Nebraska in 2009 as the first CIO of the Lincoln campus. In 2017, about a year after Askren added system-wide duties to his role, the rollout of the OneIT initiative began. OneIT was designed to consolidate and unify Information Technology Services across campuses in order to better meet the IT needs of students, faculty and staff.
The effort served as a model for other administrative streamlining efforts across the university as Budget Response Team work got underway in 2017. Today, as vice president, Askren oversees a newly consolidated, more effective and efficient unit with an annual budget of $60 million and 300-plus staff members.
As senior advisor to the president, Askren’s duties will include assisting with the development of a center for integrated analytics, advising on the restructuring of the Nebraska Student Information System and Nebraska Business Information System, assisting the system-wide institutes on IT strategy and partnering with the Holland Computing Center, pursuing grant funding opportunities, and representing NU in the national higher education IT community.
Askren will also be asked to provide guidance during the ITS leadership transition. Bounds said plans for a search for Askren’s successor will be announced at a later date.
Director of Communications University of Nebraska