Higher education CIOs and the pandemic

May 6, 2021, 12:50 – 1:35 p.m.
Location: Main stage

Join a panel of chief information officers (CIOs) who will discuss their journey over the past year. Using a Q&A format, four Canadian CIOs will talk about the challenges, surprises, lessons learned and opportunities faced at their institutions and how they manage through the pandemic. They will also highlight successes over the last year and what to look forward to in the upcoming academic year.

Jennifer Burns

Jennifer Burns is the Associate Vice-President, Information Technology and CIO for the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she leads technology as a strategic enabler to the university’s vision of creating an exceptional learning and research environment. An experienced leader within higher education and with an extensive background in client services and management, Jennifer is a Royal Roads University alumna commerce major. She has been in management for over 23 years, 17 of which has been in higher education information technology (IT) delivery. Along with overseeing the strategic vision and leadership for UBC, Jennifer also represents UBC’s IT leadership provincially and nationally and collaborates with executive leaders in higher education and partner organizations world-wide.

Jennifer Burns

Gayleen Gray

Gayleen Gray is the Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at McMaster University (McMaster) where she oversees the university’s information systems and services, including Information Security and initiatives related to the McMaster IT Strategic Vision and Plan that she launched in 2019. Gayleen provides leadership across all campus technology systems, services and priorities, and she is responsible for the institution’s IT Governance processes. A truly collaborative leader, Gayleen works with the institutions’ leadership team and a network of diverse colleagues and IT personnel to ensure McMaster’s research, teaching and learning initiatives are supported and enabled by campus systems and infrastructure.

Throughout her 21-year career in higher education IT, Gayleen has developed relationships with colleagues and peers across Canada and in the U.S., furthering collective areas of interest.

Gayleen Gray

Brian Stewart 

Brian Stewart is the deputy CIO at the University of Alberta. His role is to provide strategic leadership, vision and direction for information services and technology and to direct organizational transformation through the application of digital technologies. Brian’s background is in strategic, operational and technology management in the printing industry and higher education and he has written and spoken widely on these topics. Brian has Business Economics Masters degree from University College Cork and a Master of Administration from Athabasca University.

Brian Stewart

Bo Wandschneider

Bo Wandschneider became CIO at the University of Toronto in May 2017. A respected IT veteran, Bo has spent 30 years in higher education information technology, first at the University of Guelph and more recently as CIO and Associate Vice Principal, Information Technology, at Queen’s University. His early years included a decade in an academic unit where Bo was embedded in the research enterprise and actively engaged in teaching and learning. These experiences have allowed him to develop a deep appreciation and understanding of the needs of the academic community. Bo led the development of the IT@UofT strategic plan in 2019 and the launch of the IT@UofT Strategic Plan 2020 Annual Report.

A truly collaborative leader, Bo is well known across Canada for the breadth and depth of his knowledge, his desire to build partnerships, and his openness and willingness to share information and expertise with colleagues and staff. A frequent presenter at various professional forums such as Educause and CANHEIT, Bo is known as a visionary thinker and an effective strategist.

Bo Wandschneider