Knoxville — The University of Tennessee System has selected Ramon Padilla Jr. as its chief information officer (CIO) after conducting a national search.
Padilla, who has led information technology departments in government and higher education, will begin his duties on Nov. 1.
“I am thrilled to announce the hire of Ramon Padilla as our next CIO,” said David Miller, UT System senior vice president and chief financial officer. “The skills and experiences he has gained through leadership roles within two large university systems and a flagship campus will translate well to the UT System at a critical time. His high degree of technical knowledge combined with his wit and strong interpersonal skills will be an asset to the entire UT System.”
As chief information officer, Padilla will be responsible for leading the UT System’s information systems, including assisting in the launch of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that will serve as the backbone of finance and human resource operations. He will also provide leadership with strategic thinking, guidance and general information in all areas of information technology (IT) and security activities.
Padilla said he looks forward to joining UT and working to lead coming changes with IT.
“When I saw the advertisement for the CIO position at the UT System office, I instantly knew it was going to be in a place, at a time where things were going to be aligned to be able to make a significant difference,” he said. “With great leadership at both the system and campus level, at a world-class institution that is known to make an impact inside the state and throughout the world, in a community as vibrant as Knoxville, I am humbled to have been chosen as chief information officer for the UT System.”
Since 2014, Padilla has lead Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ information technology services as vice chancellor and chief information officer. He has overseen the development and innovation of system-wide IT infrastructure, enterprise data applications, information security, data and analytics. In five years, the division more than doubled service offers while reducing technology expenses by 7 percent. He also established a managed administrative computing (MAC) shared service where campuses can outsource their IT management to the system office for a fee. He also identified the need for and championed the replacement of the system’s ERP, by persuading the chancellor, 37 college and university presidents, the board of trustees and the legislature to invest $150 million in the replacement project.
He previously contracted through Six Dimensions as an independent technology consultant, during which he worked with a chief information officer of a top 10 research university to perform reviews as well as offer policy and program advice.
As associate vice chancellor and deputy chief information officer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he developed an incident response policy and procedures that provided metrics and determined severity and impact of information technology events. He also redefined the web services operation reduce costs for the division, transforming it into a quasi-auxiliary operation that saved the university $85,000 annually.
Other positions he has held include, assistant vice chancellor and chief information officer for the State University System of Florida Board of Governors; senior project manager at Kyra Infotech; senior project manager at Keane; and director/administrator of information services with Jefferson County Government/Louisville Metro Government in Louisville, Kentucky.
Padilla earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1984 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Louisville in 1987.
The University of Tennessee is a statewide system of higher education with campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service. The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 10,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 400,000 alumni around the world.