Senior Digital Leader in Higher Education and Public Sector environments
- Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Higher Education
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The focus of my career has been providing digital leadership to individuals, groups, and departments both in the UK and New Zealand, building high-performing and respected teams of IT professionals, librarians, software developers, researchers, research and learning support specialists, and national support staff. I mix this background of high quality service deIivery with a research approach, having been awarded national and European grants totalling over two million pounds, and been a collaborator with multiple UK centres of excellence. I have a particular research interest in the developing fields of Open Access and Research Data Management, and have given many international invited keynotes in these areas.
During my career I have developed skills in leadership; management; the creation and implementation of vision, strategy and policy; project and change management; financial management; technical development; delivery of shared services; promotion and advocacy of services; and relationship building within and across institutions. In 2016 I was invited to be part of a ten-person USA / UK group of IT leaders from EDUCAUSE and Jisc institutions, to write a leadership report and guide on the subject of preparing the next generation of IT leaders.
My particular strengths include strong technical leadership applied to the needs of Higher Education (students, researchers, staff), communicating and building strong relationships between technical and academic disciplines, while creating and motivating highly successful teams to deliver excellent services.
As Deputy Director I take on the full responsibility for the division as required, representing the division at Information Services Directors meetings, and at University committees such as Court, Senate, and Library Committee; and actively contributing to the Information Services Senior Management Team as appropriate.
I lead the Research and Learning Services section, covering areas such as:
- Ensuring the Library provides a high quality service to researchers within an environment of evolving compliance requirements. In particular this includes Open Access (RCUK, Wellcome, REF) and Research Data Management. I have led both these areas through significant change, building new services by working closely with colleagues across Information Services, along with University, College and School representatives to shape and refine the support they provide.
- Meeting the needs of learners through the provision of systems that ensure they are able to discover and access the resources they need. A core part of this is the development of the Talis Aspire Resource List system to enable reading lists to be managed, resources acquired and made discoverable, and to provide feedback mechanisms to course organisers on the use of the materials on their lists.
- Jointly leading the procurement and implementation of a new Library Management Platform to replace the existing system that is now over 15 years old. This is a complex project that affects every student and member of academic staff of the University, along with all library staff and their process workflows. This requires significant change management, but brings with it the potential to greatly improve the services we offer through wide-ranging business process improvement.
As one of the lead develoeprs on this worldwide project I help to shape the future direction of the platform. DSpace continues to be the most widely adopted digital repository platform used primarily by higher education institutions.
I held the position of the DSpace version 1.6 release manager, and co-ordinated the worldwide distributed development team during 2009 and early 2010 to launch that version. More recently I became a founding member of the DSpace Steering Group, leading the project at a strategic level, including fundraising for the sustainability of the platform.
Responsible for a service portfolio including acquisitions, metadata, e-resources, digital library development, information systems, repositories, and research publications.
Library Digital Development Manager in one of the largest libraries in New Zealand. I built and led a team that worked with numerous and varying commercial and open source platforms to create new and innovative services that collect, manage, and deliver information.
I was also seconded to lead the technical development of a new research management tool kit that was implemented, commissioned, and rolled-out during 2010 to 2,500+ academics which won the Vice-chancellor’s award for Excellence in the Contribution to Research and Creative Work (2011). “In less than six months the team were able to deliver what is considered internationally as best practice in the area of research outputs management” The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon.
A mentor for the DSpace and DuraSpace Google Summer of Code projects. Working with great new software development talent from leading universities to work on open source projects.
An award winning two and a half year JISC funded project (£1.4m) to to co-ordinate and deliver good practice and practical advice to UK Higher Education Institutions to enable the implementation, management and development of digital repositories. The national project contributed by building capacity, knowledge and skills within institutions through the provision of guidance and advice.
A role that encompassed local technical leadership, public funded research, and national infrastructure support provision across both Library and IT domains.
Under my leadership, the team included technical staff who managed the enterprise web applications for the university. The applications included SharePoint, Blackboard e-learning platform, Enterprise Content Management System, E-assessment packages and other web-based systems.
The other half of the team were involved with publicly funded research, development, and support projects. I was Principal Investigator on over £1/2 million of grants, and project leader on a further £1 million+ projects. These encompassed a wide range of areas such as standards setting, bioinformatics data management, and research data management within academic libraries.
Researcher in the area of Model Based Reasoning, Qualitative Reasoning, and Artificial Intelligence.
- Digital Libraries
- Software Engineering
- Information Management
- Software Development
- Knowledge Management
- Information Retrieval
- Digital Preservation
- Semantic Web
- Open Source
- Has errors
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