MERCED, CA. — The University of California, Merced has filled a crucial position on its senior management team with the appointment of Richard M. Kogut as chief information officer (CIO), effective August 1. Kogut comes to UC Merced from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he had served as chief information technology architect since 1998.
"With 30 years of experience as an information technology leader in industry and at major universities, Richard Kogut has outstanding depth and breadth of knowledge in this constantly evolving field," said UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who made the appointment. "He also brings a strong background in developing new technologies and the kind of vision necessary to implement the state-of-the-art, technology-rich network to support UC Merced's mission of teaching, research and public service."
As the founding CIO, Kogut will take the lead in designing, deploying and managing information technology (IT) and telecommunications systems to serve current and future UC Merced faculty, students and staff. He will ensure that information science and systems are the hallmark of cross-disciplinary research and instruction at UC Merced, collaborating with faculty and academic leadership to develop the vision and strategic plan for those technologies.
Responsible for the integrated management of both centralized and distributed networked information systems, Kogut will work to establish UC Merced's main campus as the hub of a technological network linking the campus to the San Joaquin Valley and the world. This network concept will help UC Merced fulfill its special mission to serve the 3.5 million residents living from Stockton to Bakersfield through distribution of educational services to educational and outreach centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Currently, UC Merced has centers in Fresno, Bakersfield and Merced, with a fourth center planned for Modesto.
"To join the team developing the first major research university of the 21st century is an incredible opportunity and an exciting challenge," Kogut said. "There is no common measure to compare the responsibility of making incremental technological changes at an existing campus with the charge of building an integrated information technology infrastructure from the ground up. As a new campus, UC Merced has the chance to integrate information technology technologically, institutionally and at every level of planning, because there are IT implications in every aspect of university life, from learning management platforms to portal systems to protection of privacy. If we commit to building the infrastructure as a team, the technologies will be much more effective."
On his initial agenda, Kogut plans to create an inventory and timeline of technological elements that must be in place prior to the scheduled campus opening in fall 2004 and to create a strategic plan in concert with the rest of the UC Merced team. His ultimate goal is for the campus to provide faculty, students and staff with very simple access to all information and services. As an example of technology catering to the individual, Kogut said he envisions portal systems that automatically open up appropriate resources upon identification of the computer user.
Pointing to the rapid evolution of technology, he said independence and adaptability of elements will be a priority in defining the IT architecture for the campus to allow for updates as new products and services become available. Convergence - a major trend in which formerly disparate IT services become merged, wired and wireless services are united, and equipment usage for business and personal purposes becomes increasingly blurred - is another development with likely implications for campus technology.
Kogut has extensive experience in evaluating and deploying new technology, as well as leading organizations to meet new challenges. A seasoned manager, his efforts have emphasized large-scale deployment of applications and networks.
He had been with Georgetown University for five years, most recently defining IT architecture and initiatives for the campus of 12,500 students as chief IT architect. In this capacity, his accomplishments include creation of the architectural framework for delivering easily managed, institution-wide network services at a reduced cost, construction of the plan and partnerships to develop a $13 million network incorporating fiber-to-the-desktop technology, and inauguration of the campus advisory body for technology adoption.
Previously, as Georgetown's director of technology services, Kogut provided core IT services to faculty, students and staff and managed an IT staff of more than 100 employees. He led the completion of a state-of-the-art technology network for the Georgetown Medical Center, allowing the deployment of new hospital applications; facilitated the transition to a university-wide CIO structure as part of an acting CIO triumvirate; and improved IT department service to customers.
From 1987 to 1997, Kogut worked for his alma mater, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where years earlier he began his career as a systems programmer developing software and deploying early time-sharing services to students. During his second period of service, Kogut was appointed as a manager of systems services and then promoted to director of systems and operations. In this latter role, he planned, implemented, operated and provided user and technical support for campus systems and networks for administrative, student and research applications.
In between his stints on the Brown University campus, Kogut, who is fluent in French, went to Europe to work at Compagnie IBM in France from 1974 to 1987. Initially employed as a staff researcher on assignment for the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship at Brown University, he later provided expert support for IBM mainframe products as a systems engineer in IBM's offices in Paris, France.
Among his professional affiliations, Kogut is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics engineers, Sigma Xi and the EDUCAUSE Committee of Evolving Technologies. He also completed the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A native of Far Rockaway, New York, Kogut earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and his master's degree in computer science from Brown University.