The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has appointed Kate Carruthers as chief data officer amid a restructure that has also seen the university remove the CIO and senior ICT change program director roles.
Carruther’s appointment is part of UNSW’s 2025 Strategy – published last October – to position UNSW as Australia’s global university.
Michael Kirby-Lewis, who had been CIO at UNSW since July 2007, and Denise Black, the university’s ICT change program director, have both moved on, a UNSW spokesperson confirmed to CIO Australia.
Carruthers is reporting to UNSW’s chief of staff, Peter Noble, and will work alongside interim chief digital officer (CDO) Conrad Mackenzie, who is also a director at PwC Australia.
UNSW is currently looking for a new CDO, a role that amalgamates the previous CIO and CTO roles. The successful candidate will be the new head of IT at UNSW and report to the university’s vice president, finance and operations, Andrew Walters, a UNSW spokesperson said.
Carruthers said UNSW has an increasing recognition that digital technology underpins everything the university does.
“This goes to what I have been saying for years that the CIO role is kind of dying,” Carruthers said.
“The old [notion] that if you run the plumbing, keep everything stable and your job is good, is kind of over. This [IT review] is recognition that the landscape is changing and digital underpins every part of the business.
“Data and information are assets in the organisation especially a knowledge organisation like a university,” she said.
Carruthers will be looking after data governance, business intelligence and government reporting. She said she will work across areas of UNSW – including IT – to find ways to better understand, track, monitor, and eventually monetise, the university’s data assets.
She is also currently at senior lecturer at UNSW’s School and Computer Science and Engineering and plans to teach an innovative program at the university next year.
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