Office of Information Technology

Michael H. Hites, Ph.D., named SMU Chief Information Officer effective July 17, 2017

Michael H. HitesMichael H. Hites, Ph.D., an executive with 17 years of experience leading large-scale computing operations for university-based research and innovation, has been named SMU’s Chief Information Officer. He will begin his new duties on July 17, 2017.

“We are delighted that Dr. Hites will be joining us as our Chief Information Officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “His experience and leadership will be invaluable as we dramatically increase the utilization of advanced computing in our research and institutional programs.”

Currently, Hites is senior associate vice president for administrative IT services and CIO with the University of Illinois System. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He brings to SMU experience with innovation and research, teaching and learning, enterprise infrastructure, fundraising, governance, strategic planning and budgeting, process improvement, new product development, 24/7 operations, and data warehousing and analytics, among other areas.

As SMU CIO, Hites will report directly to President Turner. He will lead the Office of Information Technology, including the Academic Technology, Infrastructure, Applications Support, Project Management, Customer Service, and Information Security teams.

In addition, Hites will oversee the University’s high-performance computing initiatives, including the ManeFrame II supercomputer: SMU’s fourth-generation upgrade, which boasts a six-fold increase in computing power with a theoretical peak performance of more than 600 teraflops.  When installation is competed this summer, ManeFrame II will rank among the top academic supercomputers in the nation.

As the UI System’s senior associate VP for administrative IT services and CIO since 2012, Hites is responsible for a $28 million recurring budget and 220 employees. He also leads an executive team in planning, strategy, analysis, and operations of enterprise IT services for approximately 81,000 students and 25,000 employees across UI’s Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Chicago (UIC) and Springfield (UIS) campuses.

His accomplishments in this role include the development of faculty-focused IT governance structures that balance membership between academic and administrative leadership, as well as the implementation of an annual enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade process that saves the system millions of dollars compared to peer organizations.

He has collaborated on the planning and installation of a new shared research-computing cluster at UIC and helped implement a single-username and -password system in a highly-distributed environment with multiple password directories. In addition, his department created a researcher-focused financial and compliance portal to streamline processes for innovators, as well as developed strategies for administrative IT services that favor saving time for students and faculty and providing faster services and data for stakeholders.

“I am looking forward to helping achieve SMU’s 2016-2025 strategic plan, ‘Launching SMU’s Second Century: Shaping Leaders for a Changing World,’” Hites said.  “Being the CIO at SMU gives me the opportunity to work side-by-side with students, faculty and staff to foster research, improve interdisciplinary education, and partner with the city of Dallas.”

Hites began his career at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1996, where he served as assistant to the dean for computing (1996-97), assistant dean for computing and research assistant professor (1997-98), and director, Computing and Network Services (1998-2000). He also served as chief technology officer from 2000-03.

He continued his career at New Mexico State University (NMSU) from 2003-08, starting as vice provost for information and technology services and CIO (2003-06). As vice president for planning and IT and CIO from 2006-08, he worked with deans, directors, students, faculty, executive leadership, and the Board of Regents to plan, implement and measure IT programs and services across NMSU’s five-campus system, as well as assisting other governmental and educational entities in New Mexico.

His 10-year career with the University of Illinois System included service as executive CIO (2011-12) and associate vice president for administrative IT services (2008-12).

Hites received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1989. He earned an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1992 and his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1997.

Dr. Hites was selected after a nationwide search coordinated by a campus committee chaired by James E. Quick, associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. He replaces Joe Gargiulo, SMU’s first CIO, who will retire this summer.

“A 21st-century university depends on information technology,” Quick said. “Dr. Hites’ background, which includes both outstanding IT and faculty experience, position him to lead the engagement of IT in SMU’s efforts to enhance its academic quality and stature.”

SMU CIO Joe Gargiulo to retire; University names committee to search for successor

Joe Gargiulo

SMU Chief Information Officer Joe Gargiulo, who has helped lead the University to significant gains in connectivity and high-performance computing, has announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. He will continue to serve in his current position as the University searches for its next CIO.

“As SMU’s first chief information officer, Joe Gargiulo has led the University to modernize, expand and enhance its ability to create, collaborate and share knowledge,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “His leadership, both in creating a 21st-century information infrastructure and in guiding how we use and think about technology’s benefits and challenges, will have a positive effect on how our community learns, teaches, researches and connects now and into the future.”

Gargiulo has served as SMU’s CIO since 2008. As part of the Operational Excellence IT Shared Services initiative, he led the department through a consolidation and streamlining process that allowed OIT to become more agile and responsive to the University community. A critical component included the reorganization and launch of the improved Academic Technology Services team. He received the President’s Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2009 and a Commendation from the Faculty Senate in 2004.

He has also helped to lead the introduction of high-performance computing at SMU. In 2014, he led the installation team for SMU’s ManeFrame supercomputer in a new data center located south of Mockingbird Lane on Central Expressway. ManeFrame boasted nearly 11,000 central processing unit cores, 26 terabytes of memory, and more than two petabytes of storage. His team is currently installing SMU’s fourth-generation supercomputer, ManeFrame II, which is expected to bring a six-fold increase in computing power and will rank among the top academic supercomputers in the nation.

> More about ManeFrame at SMU’s Center for Scientific Computation homepage

In addition, Gargiulo has led the University’s Office of Information Technology in expanding and upgrading secure wireless access, adopting new classroom technology, upgrading disaster-recovery protocols and services, and introducing improved cyber security measures such as Two-Factor Authentication.

Gargiulo came to SMU in 1998 from Fidelity Investments, where he served as a vice president and managed a team of 80 software developers responsible for various systems focused on customer data and analytics. He began his SMU career managing the University’s Y2K efforts and the conversion from legacy systems to PeopleSoft; he also assisted with the SMU Central University Libraries’ conversion to the Voyager library-management software system. In the 2005 Information Technology Services reorganization, he was appointed executive director of administrative computing, responsible for Administrative Systems Training, Software Applications, Systems, Telecommunications, and User Services.

In his professional service, Gargiulo has been a member of the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) Board for 10 years and serving as a member of its Executive Committee for six years, as chairman of the board in 2015, and working with CIOs from 40 other Texas colleges and universities. LEARN provides advanced network services for research, education, healthcare and economic development throughout Texas and is the connector to Internet2.

From 1975 to 1977, Gargiulo served in the United States Navy aboard the U.S.S. Plymouth Rock (LSD-29). He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration (Management Information Systems) from Old Dominion University, where he graduated magna cum laude and was selected Outstanding MIS Senior.

President R. Gerald Turner has appointed a search committee for Gargiulo’s successor. Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies James E. Quick will chair the committee, whose members include:

  • Amit Basu, Carr. P. Collins Chair of Management Information Sciences and chair, Information Technology and Operations Management, Cox School of Business (co-chair)
  • Rachel Mulry, director of customer service, Office of Information Technology (co-chair)
  • Ernie Barry, associate vice president for budgets and finance, Business and Finance
  • Gary Brubaker, director, SMU Guildhall
  • Jo Guldi, assistant professor of history, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Thomas Hagstrom, professor of mathematics and director, Center for Scientific Computation, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Duane Harbin, assistant dean for technology, planning and compliance, Perkins School of Theology
  • Charles Headley, executive director, Development Services, Development and External Affairs
  • Frank Hernandez, Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair in Education Policy and Leadership and associate dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development
  • Greg Ivy, associate dean for library and technology, Dedman School of Law
  • Toni Nolen, interim co-director, Technical and Digital Services, Central University Libraries
  • David Sedman, associate professor of film and media arts, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Mitchell Thornton, Cecil H. Green Chair in Computer Science and Engineering and research director, Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Michael Tumeo, director, Office of Institutional Research
  • Sharla Walker, associate director, Office of Financial Aid

Mai Bui will serve the committee as liaison to Human Resources. Brooke Guelker will support the committee, which welcomes input from the SMU community regarding possible candidates for the position. The executive search firm of Russell Reynolds Associates will assist the University in the national search.

Inquiries, nominations and applications should be sent in strict confidence (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred) to:

Dr. Jett Pihakis
Russell Reynolds Associates
SMU.CIO@russellreynolds.com
(202) 654-7800

Fall back: Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015

Stock photo of a clock with sweep handsExtra sleep and early sunsets return this weekend: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.

Remember to set your clocks one hour earlier in observance of Standard Time. In addition, check your home and office computers and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Daylight Saving Time 2015 springs forward on Sunday, March 8

Get ready for longer days ahead: Stock photo of a clock face with hands approaching 12U.S. Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8, 2015, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, and check your computer and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Get computer help from the Office of Information Technology

Tips, tricks and training on the menu at SMU’s 2014 Tech Day Wednesday, Oct. 22

From iPads in the classroom to social media for the workplace, SMU’s Office of Information Technology will offer a full day of free training during Tech Day 2014 on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Sessions featuring University subject matter experts and special guest speakers from Adobe and Apple are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom and Forum.

All sessions are free and open to SMU faculty, staff and students; no registration is required. Seats are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Topics include:

> Learn more at SMU OIT’s Tech Day 2014 homepage

SMU Libraries host 2014 CUL Cookout April 15-16

CUL Cookout 2014As part of their annual celebration of National Library Week, SMU’s Central University Libraries and Office of Information Technology will serve lunch and share information at the 7th annual CUL Cookout April 15-16, 2014.

All-beef hot dogs, veggie dogs, popcorn, cookies and other goodies are on the menu 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the west side of Fondren Library Center, while supplies last.

CUL organizes the popular annual event to spread word on how University librarians can help with projects, papers and research. The Cox Business Library and OIT will also share the latest information about their resources and services.

>  Read more about the 7th Annual Cookout at the CUL News blog

Spring forward: Daylight Saving Time 2014 begins Sunday, March 9

Stock photo of a clock face with hands approaching 12U.S. Daylight Saving Time is here again: The time shift begins this Sunday, March 9, 2014, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, and check your computer and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Get computer help from the Office of Information Technology

Don’t forget to fall back: Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 3, 2013

Stock photo of a clock with sweep handsExtra sleep and early sunsets return this weekend: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

Remember to set your clocks one hour earlier in observance of Standard Time. In addition, check your home and office computers and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

SMU OIT to implement user preferences for bulk e-mail lists

Originally published Aug. 20, 2013.

SMU bulk e-mail list usage, 2010-12

This graphic shows the increase in campus bulk e-mail messages over the past three years, 2010 to 2012 (via SMU Office of Information Technology).

SMU’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has responded to requests from the Student Senate and the faculty-led Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) to let users take more control of their campus e-mail subscriptions.

The President’s Executive Council reviewed a revised University bulk e-mail policy that allowed individuals to opt out of certain types of information. This policy was approved in August 2012. Implementation of the new subscription management solution will begin Monday, Sept. 9, 2013.

As part of its implementation plan, OIT has developed a portal, mylists.smu.edu, that will allow each user to manage all nonessential e-mail preferences with a single login.

The new service helps the University to achieve two goals:

  • Ensure that essential messages are delivered to faculty, staff and students, while also enabling those recipients to opt out of nonessential messages they do not wish to receive.
  • Improve the effectiveness of essential communications by empowering recipients to limit nonessential messages to their own areas of interest.

University bulk e-mail lists sent out more than 3,200 messages in the 2012-13 academic year. The volume of e-mail has decreased the effectiveness of these lists in communicating critical information to appropriate audiences, according to the OIT. The new system will group SMU e-mail lists as follows:

Essential Lists

Current e-mail lists for faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students will be maintained, and membership to these lists will continue to be mandatory (users may not opt out of receiving messages). However, only essential messages related to safety and health, and those related to personnel and academic business, will be delivered. In addition, the ability to send to these lists will be restricted to a select group of accounts.

Managed Lists

New lists will be created for the communication needs of departments, programs and schools. Initially, these lists will be populated with all campus e-mail addresses. However, individuals will be able to unsubscribe from a managed list through an automatically generated link in each e-mail message, or to adjust their subscription preferences through mylists.smu.edu. These preferences can be changed at any time.

Departments are encouraged to review their current communication plans and strategies to help encourage individuals to remain subscribed to their lists. These strategies may include increased use of social media such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute updated or time-limited information.

For more information, contact Rachel Mulry in the Office of Information Technology.

> Find more information at SMU OIT’s Bulk Lists information page

Spring forward: Daylight Saving Time 2013 begins Sunday, March 11

Stock photo of a clock face with hands approaching 12U.S. Daylight Saving Time is here again: The time shift begins this Sunday, March 10, 2013, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, and check your computer and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Get computer help from the Office of Information Technology

Load More Posts