Southern Wesleyan University, an evangelical Christian institution located in the town of Central, South Carolina, welcomes applications and nominations in the search for its next Information Technology Director.
The Institution: Founded in 1906, Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) embraces its mission: “...to serve as a Christ-centered, student-focused learning community devoted to transforming lives by challenging students to be dedicated scholars and servant leaders who impact the world for Christ.” SWU abides by the belief that every individual has a God-given purpose, brought to fruition by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit and the challenge of scholarship. This belief is manifested in SWU’s Four Outcomes:
Biblical Faithfulness – Regardless of the blowing winds of society’s cultural trends and secular philosophies, faithfulness to God’s Word must be the foundation, the center, and the goal of all Christian higher education. At SWU this means both allegiance to God and submission to Scripture.
Academic Rigor – We pursue wisdom that begins with the fear of the LORD (e.g., Prov. 9:1). We teach our students to think critically and Christianly. Rigor means, regardless of ability, we come alongside students and challenge them to love God with all their mind.
Vocational Effectiveness – We graduate students who succeed in the workplace and graduate school. We equip them in the classroom, through on- and off-campus experiences, mentoring, and internships. More than 90% of SWU graduates express satisfaction in their vocational and educational preparation over five, ten, and fifteen years.
Financial Sustainability – Too many students face insurmountable college debt. A SWU education must be affordable for students and sustainable for our university in the long-term.
In summary, SWU is committed to graduating students who love Jesus, who think critically, who are employable, and who are not in crippling debt.
Southern Wesleyan University, as one of five colleges/universities operated by The Wesleyan Church, has historically held a high view of Scriptural authority, while affirming denominational distinctions such as racial and gender equality. The Wesleyan dynamic of holiness—personal piety and social justice expressed as love for God and others—is also foundational to the mission of the University. The next Director will demonstrate a Wesleyan ethos aligned with this view of Scriptural authority and holiness.
Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SWU serves nearly 1,100 students in approximately 40 areas of study, which include both undergraduate and graduate programs. The main campus consists of 350 beautiful acres in the town of Central, South Carolina, and offers students access to high quality learning and living facilities, many of which are newly constructed or recently renovated. The University employs 45 full-time faculty members and boasts a robust offering of online degrees in addition to its on-campus offerings. It also offers 12 men’s and women’s sports programs, enjoys dual membership in the NCAA Division II and the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association), and, since 2007, it has won 17 NCCAA national championships. For more information about the University, please visit https://www.swu.edu and/or view the search prospectus.
The Position: Reporting to the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, the Information Technology (IT) Director is responsible for overseeing system-wide planning, development, implementation, coordination, and technical support of the university’s IT functions. This position will lead strategic initiatives that support an effective, coordinated, and efficient technology environment on the main campus and SWU Online. The Director will work in close collaboration with academic leadership and the administrative management team to provide a secure and accurate database infrastructure that integrates sensitive data from various sources to support a culture of data- informed, evidence based planning and assessment. The Director is responsible for implementing and overseeing operational standards for enterprise-wide infrastructure and applications, including Jenzabar One; ensuring adequate coordination, budgeting, and implementation of upgrades and new applications; and monitoring developments in technology to discover ways the university can gain a competitive advantage. The Director is also responsible for providing technical expertise and support to IT and institutional research (IR) staff. Additional responsibilities include the following: set objectives and strategies for the IT department; collaborate with the appropriate partners and stakeholders to assess and recommend technologies that support SWU’s mission; oversee and lead a team of IT professionals to ensure proper deployment and operation of networking hardware, file servers, and overall uptime and availability of computing resources to users; ensure that the SWU’s internal technological processes and customer-facing services comply with community expectations and applicable laws and regulations for privacy, security, and social responsibility; select and implement suitable technology to streamline all internal operations and help optimize their strategic benefits; design, and customize where appropriate, technological systems and platforms to improve customer experience; plan the implementation of new systems and provide guidance to IT professionals and other staff within the organization; approve purchases of technological equipment and software and establish partnerships with IT providers; oversee the technological infrastructure (networks and computer systems) in the organization to ensure optimal performance; direct and organize IT-related projects; analyze the costs, value, and risks of information technology to advise management and suggest actions; participate with IT personnel in disaster recovery planning, development, exercises, and actual events for MySWU (JICS); participate in professional groups and organizations including regional and national users group meetings and listservs to raise SWU’s visibility with external entities and gain information relevant to the university’s technology environment; and participate in professional development training opportunities that keep all staff current with emerging technologies and product advancements.
Qualifications: The next IT Director will possess strong interpersonal, communication, and problem-solving skills with the ability to work collaboratively in a diverse group of individuals. The next Director will also have exceptional project management and organization skills. The Director will have familiarity with integrated database management systems, including reporting, and exposure to and understanding of web based, mobile and PC applications, including but not limited to the use of Microsoft Office. Preferred qualifications include database management and report writing experience within a Microsoft SQL Server environment as well as experience with Jenzabar One. A bachelor’s degree and five years of information technology experience in higher education is required. A master’s degree is preferred.
The University is a Christian liberal arts institution in the Wesleyan-Holiness theological tradition. In light of SWU’s unapologetically Christ-centered mission, all employees are expected to embrace the University’s Statement of Faith, respect its Wesleyan heritage, and adhere to its lifestyle expectations.
Location: Central, South Carolina, is a town of 5,000 situated in the northwest part of the state, in the nearly 1 million resident Greenville Metropolitan Area. The region sits along the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, and lakes. Residents also enjoy an exceptional quality of life and a vibrant arts and culture scene, complete with diverse dining options, visual and performing arts venues, and lively annual festivals. Greenville, a vibrant and growing city, is only 30 miles away, and other great cities of the Southeast, including Atlanta, Asheville, and Charlotte, are close enough for day trips. Also worth visiting is South Carolina’s beautiful coastline, which includes the historic city of Charleston, beautiful Hilton Head Island, and lively Myrtle Beach.
Application: Candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at SWUtechnology@rpainc.org.
For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Isaac Karaffa, Vice
President and Senior Consultant, or Kira Heath, Search Manager, at the email address above. While applications will
be accepted until the position is filled, please apply by October 4, 2023. The selected candidate will be required to
sign the University’s Doctrinal Statement and Community Expectations forms upon hire.