Dr. Douglas Sicker Named CU Denver’s First Vice Chancellor for Technology Strategy and Innovation

With more than 25 years of experience in technology innovation, Sicker is poised to help CU Denver meet its Strategic Plan goals

July 26, 2022

Following a search process that kicked off in May, Douglas Sicker, PhD, has been selected as CU Denver’s Vice Chancellor for Technology Strategy and Innovation. This important role will be instrumental in reaching our Strategic Plan ambitions by guiding cross-disciplinary integration of technology into our student success, academic and research work—needs identified during the strategic planning process and in recent task forces focused on digital strategy and computing.

In his new post, Sicker, who has served as CU Denver’s Chief Computing Officer, will oversee campus-wide efforts on computing education, “Computing Across the Curriculum,” as well as lead the CU Denver-centric Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the campus information technology (IT) and services infrastructure. He will report to Provost Constancio Nakuma and Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration and Strategy Jennifer Sobanet.

Douglas Sicker
Dr. Douglas Sicker

“CU Denver is poised to create a technological framework that will offer innovation, access, and flexibility that works for all students, as well as our faculty and staff,” said Nakuma. “Doug’s extensive background brings together expertise in research, higher education, and technological innovation. But he is also extremely skilled at implementing high-impact, data-informed solutions while listening and working with stakeholders.”  

In addition to innovating our technology vision, this role will help integrate campus-wide IT solutions and provide alignment with the Anschutz Medical Campus on shared services infrastructure. “We want to thank David Lowry, Senior Director of Enterprise Operations and Infrastructure, for serving as Interim Chief Information Officer for OIT during this critical time and setting the stage for the future,” Sobanet said. 

She added that in the search for this vital position, CU Denver wanted to find a problem-solver who could help move our technology culture forward. “With Doug, we have a proven collaborator—with both private and public sector experience—who knows how to build results and improve systems,” said Sobanet. 

Sicker joined CU Denver in March 2020 as a professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and senior associate dean in the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing. As CU Denver’s Chief Computing Officer, he led the Interdisciplinary Computing Task Force and has already begun implementing the recommendations from its “Computing Across the Curriculum” report within our schools and colleges. Additionally, he has championed the development of new certificate and degree programs at CU Denver. 

Previously, Sicker served as the Lord Endowed Chair in the College of Engineering and School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and as the DBC Endowed Full Professor of Computer Science at CU Boulder. An active researcher, he has published more than 400 papers and brought in more than $16 million in federal and industry research grants. He has also served in various roles in the federal government—including working as the Chief Technology Officer for both the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Commerce NTIA—and brings to this role expertise in cybersecurity, wireless, and network systems. 

Sicker’s extensive experience in research and teaching, and his commitment to student success were just some of the reasons the search committee, led by Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Student Success Monique Snowden, identified him as a finalist for this position. His collaborative leadership style and ability to manage complexity were also hallmarks contributing to his selection.

“During my time at CU Denver, I’ve seen the integral role that CU Denver plays in the technology sector,” said Sicker. “And I’m excited to build on that momentum to create more opportunities for our students and ensure that we have plans for optimizing, investing in, and growing our technology resources in our learning environments.” 

As Nakuma noted: This is an important step in further establishing CU Denver as a hub of technology innovation, while redefining what computing across the curriculum looks like today and into the future.