UCSF appoints new vice chancellor for information technology

By Kristen Bole

Elazar Harel, PhD, JDElazar Harel, PhD, JD
The University of California, San Francisco has appointed a vice chancellor to oversee the university’s information technology systems. The appointment of Elazar Harel, PhD, JD, as UCSF vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer was officially approved today by the UC Board of Regents.

In the new position, Harel will oversee both the academic and administrative IT activities for the campus. The CIO of the UCSF Medical Center also will have a dotted-line relationship to this position, reflecting the coordination leadership Harel will provide for UCSF IT policies and infrastructure.

The scope of these responsibilities is unique within the UC system and represents a bold new vision for addressing the opportunities and challenges of information technology, according to UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, who will oversee the new position alongside UCSF Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration John Plotts.

“The next decade at UCSF will be marked by tremendous changes in understanding and treating human diseases, brought on by the genomic revolution and biomedical advances, and state-of-the-art IT systems will be a core component of most of those changes,” Bluestone said. “In that context, Elazar’s unusual combination of technical expertise and vision in IT management, as well as business and political acumen, will be an invaluable resource.”

The appointment also comes at a time when UCSF has identified information technology as a significant tool in its strategic efforts to improve operational excellence and significantly reduce campus costs.

“This role will be of critical importance as UCSF moves forward as a more efficient and streamlined organization,” Plotts said. “With Elazar’s appointment, this newly configured role will be occupied by a stellar individual with the experience needed to lead those efficiencies in the IT realm.”

The new role replaces the previously shared arrangement in which two individuals at the associate vice chancellor level jointly filled the academic and administrative CIO roles.

Harel joins UCSF from UC San Diego, where he was responsible for campus-wide information technology services as the assistant vice chancellor for computing and telecommunications. At UCSD, he had a track record of cost-effective innovation and of dramatically improving customer- and staff-satisfaction with improved IT services that are recognized as among the best in higher education.

“UCSF now has the opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art IT environment that will serve the needs of its students and world-class researchers while, simultaneously, becoming a national example of staff efficiency,” Harel said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to join the new UCSF leadership team and contribute to this remarkable institution.”

Prior to UCSD, Harel was director of the UCLA Administrative Information Systems Department and served on the computing advisory board of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He also has taught information systems management graduate courses at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and served on the board of trustees of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

He has participated in and been recognized by several key higher education technology forums, including EDUCAUSE, the higher education advisory councils of Microsoft and Sprint/Nextel, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California.

Harel holds a PhD in management from UCLA and a JD from Concord University School of Law, the nation’s first online law school. In his spare time, he is a dance photographer, for which he received the STAR award by the San Diego Performing Arts League.

Harel will receive a base salary of $310,800.  Harel also is eligible for standard pension and health and welfare benefits for senior leadership, as well as reimbursement of reasonable moving expenses, per UC policy. He will begin his new role on April 12.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For further information, please visit www.ucsf.edu.