First in IT

Credit: DOUG ROSS

John Lutz began work at Vanderbilt April 15 and hasn’t come up for air since. Lutz, an information technology and financial management expert who most recently served as president of IBM Canada, is Vanderbilt’s first vice chancellor for information technology.

Lutz’s areas of responsibility include all information technology at the university and medical center, with the exception of clinical applications and IT funded by sponsored research. He oversees the newly formed Division of Information Technology, or Vanderbilt IT, which officially launched in June. The division brings together approximately 500 information technology employees from across the university and medical center into one division charged by Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos with serving the entire enterprise.

“Information technology is increasingly integrated in and woven through our work as a 21st-century research university—it is a core consideration for everything we do in support of our mission to educate, discover and heal,” Zeppos says. “Because our mission is transinstitutional, we require a transinstitutional approach to information technology.”

The creation of Lutz’s position was an early outcome of the information technology transformation initiative at Vanderbilt that began in the fall of 2012. Other early outcomes include expanded wireless network access and capacity on campus, a new system for business travel, improvements to the university’s data-reporting software system, and pilot implementation of a unified user interface for classrooms.

John Lutz (Credit: LAUREN HOLLAND)