URI names new chief information officer

Karlis Kaugars comes to the University from State University of New York system

Media Contact: Carol McCarthy, 401-874-4147 |
Karlis Kaugars
Karlis Kaugars

KINGSTON, R.I., June 13, 2018 — Karlis Kaugars, chief information officer at SUNY College of Oneonta, Oneonta, N.Y., since 2011, has been selected to become the Chief Information Officer at the University of Rhode Island, effective July 23.

A strategic IT leader, Kaugars brings to the University 25 years of planning, developing and implementing information technology solutions in an academic environment and 14 years of IT management and leadership roles.

“Kaugars’ extensive knowledge and experience in higher education in the areas of computer science and information technologies will provide all of us with the leadership needed to truly advance the University’s strategic positioning in information services and technologies,” said Provost Donald H. DeHayes. “He has the enthusiasm, experience, and leadership ability to position URI for future advancements, changes, and challenges of institutional technology.”

Kaugars brings a deep appreciation and understanding of the relationships between IT support and the administrative, teaching and research missions of a university. As CIO, he has been open and transparent in sharing how the investments in IT are used to both provide the core IT infrastructure services and invest in projects that are aligned with the strategic plan and emphasis areas of the institution.

Additionally, he has developed and fostered collaborative opportunities between the IT organization and the constituents they serve, developing partnerships with other administrative leaders and a deep engagement with the members of IT governance structures. During his years at SUNY Oneonta, he has emerged as the leader of the SUNY Council of CIOs, an organization comprising the CIOs from the 64 institutions in the SUNY system.

Kaugars received his Ph.D. in computer science from New Mexico State University and previously served as a faculty member as well as director of IT and Facilities for the College of Engineering at Western Michigan University.

“As CIO at SUNY Oneonta, it has been my responsibility and my pleasure to nurture relationships and foster collaborative opportunities between our entire IT organization and the constituents we serve. It is vitally important that the organization engage in IT-internal partnerships and collaborations.

“It is also vitally important that the organization engage in IT-internal partnerships and collaborations. Our users do not care if the problem is in the network, the servers or on the client end, they just want their e-mail fixed now, and we accomplish this by working as a single team,” said Kaugars.

Kaugars’ academic interests include parallel computing with an emphasis on computer simulation and numeric computation; information visualization, with special emphasis on the navigation and presentation of large data sets using focus-plus-context techniques, such as fisheye views and semantic zooming.