Uni CIOs play musical chairs

The top IT executives of some Australian universities have moved over the last few months.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

The top IT executives of some Australian universities have moved over the last few months.

Mary Sharp, director of IT services at Macquarie University, recently finished up almost six years at that university, moving onto the University of Newcastle where she started the chief information officer role on 6 April.

"It's good for me to have new opportunities and for [Macquarie] University to have new blood," Sharp told ZDNet.com.au. She said the universities were roughly the same size and also had roughly the same level of IT maturity, meaning she could carry on with the same sort of work she had been doing.

The CIO she was replacing, Peter Nikoletatos, left late last year to nab the top IT position at Curtin University of Technology, the largest university in Western Australia.

He said in a statement that he was looking forward to tackling the IT problems for a larger university than Newcastle, where he said he had responsibility for 120 IT staff.

Last year the University of Newcastle had just under 30,000 students, Macquarie had over 30,000 students while Curtin University had around 40,000.

Although no spokesperson was able to be reached at Macquarie University in time for this article, it seemed that Sharp's role had been filled by David Fryda who issued a scheduled system maintenance announcement on 2 April using the title and also bears the title interim head of IT Services on the Macquarie University entry for LinkedIn. It seems he had previously held a role as CIO of security alarm monitoring company Tyco Fire and Security.

Sharp was able to say that when she had left, Fryda was the interim director of IT services. She said she had left behind a good team.

While Sharp held Fryda's new role, she undertook a number of programs including the recent switch to Google's hosted email system Gmail for the university's students. Macquarie University was amongst the first Australian universities to make the plunge.

The university is also currently in the throes of replacing the aging computer network used across the campus. With a new network running alongside the old, the university is migrating computers across.

This project has been delayed because the migration of desktops proved more complex than anticipated, according to a post on the university site.

Fryda will also have to have a hand in the wireless network roll-out to replace old wireless infrastructure running since 2005 with equipment which could be monitored and repaired remotely and support notebooks of varying age.

The university selected UXC subsidiary Integ to implement the 802.11n wireless network which was meant to be available to all staff and students as it was turned on building by building between March and May.

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