UNSW tech chief departs after less than a year in role

Health reasons cited as chief digital officer Conrad Mackenzie leaves university

Image credit: John Bristowe/Flickr/CC

Image credit: John Bristowe/Flickr/CC

UNSW’s chief digital officer Conrad Mackenzie has left the university after less than 12 months in the role.

Mackenzie’s departure was announced in an all-staff email sent on 3 May. The email, sent by UNSW vice-president, finance and operations, Andrew Walters, said that Mackenzie would finish up on 5 May.

The email, sighted by Computerworld, said that Mackenzie had made the decision to resign “due to health matters and after careful consideration”.

Mackenzie joined the university as CDO in July 2016 after filling the role in an interim capacity for a number of months. The CDO role replaced previous CIO and CTO roles at UNSW. The 2016 restructure saw the departure of CIO Michael Kirby-Lewis and Denise Black, the university’s ICT change program director.

Matt Scolari, UNSW director, solution delivery, will act as CDO while a permanent replacement is sought.

“I am confident that with his thorough understanding of UNSW, UNSW IT and with the support of the full IT leadership team, Matt is best placed to lead the IT teams in the interim and continue to drive the Central IT workplace change activities and maintain business as usual,” Walters wrote.

“Additional support will be in place to assist Matt as he performs dual roles during this time.”

“Conrad has built a strong team of IT Directors with extensive experience and diversity which positions the team well to effectively lead IT through the workplace change program and into the future,” Walters wrote.

An internal UNSW document leaked last year revealed plans to shake-up IT at the university as part of the ‘UNSW 2025 Strategy’. A series of ‘Operational Excellence’ initiatives at the university were planned to “transform the delivery model for professional services at UNSW”, including IT.

The initiatives outlined in the document would be phased in over 24 months and deliver annual savings of $47 million to the university, including $18 million from changes to corporate support functions. Those savings include annual savings of $7.5 million from IT, with the equivalent of up to 170 full-time employees potentially affected.

Prior to taking his position at UNSW Mackenzie was a director PwC, which has aided the development of the university’s 2025 Strategy.

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Tags unswchief information officer (CIO)Chief Digital Officerschief digital officer (CDO)UNSW Australia

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