“In our work lives, we are blessed when we are given opportunities to work with exceptional individuals whom we respect and admire personally and professionally. Steve Gallagher, our CIO, is one such colleague. I am grateful to have worked with Steve here at USF as his supervisor, colleague and friend. No doubt this is why I have bittersweet feelings in announcing his impending departure from USF at the end of the academic year to take the new position of CIO at the Harvard Business School. This position returns Steve to his graduate school alma mater and is a significant professional growth opportunity,” wrote Father Stephen Privett in a recent email to faculty and staff.
“Steve arrived at USF in 2004 as Associate Vice President of ITS. With the departure of his predecessor in 2009, a nationwide search was conducted, 130 applications reviewed, four finalists interviewed and the search committee unanimously agreed that Steve was ‘head and shoulders’ above the other candidates, citing his ‘clear and compelling’ commitment to the University’s mission and ‘his knowledge of IT trends in higher education, the need for a customer service oriented organization and his ability to conceptualize how ITS can provide support and leadership to the University.’
“During his tenure as CIO, ITS successfully fought off cyber attacks, with USF being one of only a handful of universities left unscathed. He developed a national portal so sister Jesuit institutions can purchase inventory with the aggregate purchasing power of all 28 schools. He carefully planned and led the University’s transition to Banner Enterprise Resource Planning. He implemented an effective project management office, which is now the envy of our peer institutions. He implemented productivity and efficiency metrics for ITS service and nurtured an ITS staff that consistently receives high marks for efficiency, quality and service. He developed a team of top flight directors to carry forward ITS’ vision and strategic initiatives well into the future. His negotiation skills are legendary and he has saved the University and its students an immeasurable amount of money. Steve’s election by his Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) CIO peers as president of the National Committee on Information Technology Management illustrates how valued he is by his colleagues across the country. As Vice President, he insured ITS’ place at the table as a full partner in charting the University’s future.
“Steve first came to USF nine years ago to run the Enterprise Systems and Applications group, where he was to head the replacement of all of USF’s administrative operations. This allowed USF to greatly improve our core administrative systems [and] to leap to a leadership position among our peer institutions.
“Steve has spearheaded many initiatives, including USF’s online degree effort and the introduction of business intelligence capability to the University. He significantly enhanced the community’s software options by enhancing software standards and establishing new campus-wide agreements for students, faculty and staff. Along with the Provost and the deans, Steve co-created the initial University Online Degree Program strategy. The online degree initiative is important because it expands the student population that USF can reach. It also provides a new source of revenue for the university and allows USF to stay competitive,” Privett wrote.
One of ITS’ jobs is to keep track of what’s happening in the outside technology world. When things progress, ITS wants to be sure the USF community is progressing alongside it. And so when Steve composed the three-year ITS Strategic Plan, he included that faculty and staff software standards should be consistent with what students are bringing in. This means that most faculty and staff members have access to key current software (such as Microsoft Office, NVivo, SPSS, etc.). These programs and others are also available at the ITS eStore (estore.usfca.edu).
After speaking to Steve about his time at USF, it was clear that he has treasured his time here. “My time here has truly been the most fulfilling experience of my life, and I’m going to take my experience and values derived from the USF mission to my role at Harvard Business School,” Gallagher said.
In the words of Father Privett, “In the face of such accomplishments, Steve remains a modest, kind and sensitive person who has earned the respect and affection of us all.”