Kondrach Started as Deputy CIO at Princeton University in January 2019
Within the technology world, the people behind the technology are the key drivers who enable, inspire and empower the people, programs and tools in their organization to perform at their best. For the past 24 years, Carol Kondrach has been one of those people – an innovative technology leader enabling and inspiring others to embrace and achieve the best results.
For 21 years, Kondrach led Rider University as Associate Vice President for Information Technology, where she provided strategic vision, value and leadership in the areas of information technology planning, program development, and goal implementation. She also identified and implemented new technologies relevant to Rider’s mission in shaping policies, programs, and services.
Key strategic technology transformations she led included transitioning the University to a centralized, integrated administrative system for the first time in its history and implementing cloud-based subscription services for key technology systems as early as 2009.
“Embracing this innovative technology was a big cultural shift for many people, but the change provided great benefits to Rider in terms of access, security, high availability, continuous improvement, predictable cost and access to information,” Kondrach said. “Most of Rider’s critical applications were systematically replaced and moved to the Cloud during my time at Rider under my leadership.”
She went on to say how the transition from locally hosted services to cloud services enabled Rider to transform how teaching, learning and many campus services were delivered on campus. “The opportunity to create efficiencies, cost savings and enrich the teaching and learning environment for the campus community with these technology projects is a source of great pride for me as I reflect upon my many years of service to Rider,” Kondrach said.
Making the Transition from Rider University to Princeton University
On January 14, 2019, Kondrach began her new role as Princeton University’s Deputy CIO. In this role, Kondrach leads the Office of Information Technology (OIT) employee engagement and development efforts, she manages the department’s financial resources, and helps develop strategic plans for OIT in support of the University’s teaching and research mission. She also serves on the Strategic Advisory Group on IT (SAGIT), working with the provost, executive vice president, vice president for finance and treasurer, and dean for research to anticipate and budget for annual and multi-year technology needs at Princeton.
“The only word I could use to describe the transition from Rider to Princeton so far is amazing,” she said. “I am honored and grateful to be a part of the best teaching and research University in the world.”
Besides her aforementioned leadership roles, Kondrach also oversees a variety of OIT collaborations with departments across the Princeton campus, as well as representing OIT in external collaborations and fostering relationships with outside vendors and technology associations.
People are Behind the Technology Transformation
Kondrach has watched technology revolutionize the world over the past twenty-five years and has observed how technological changes have impacted our lives and higher education.
Exemplary leaders along with motivated and capable people with diverse backgrounds are behind the change that make technology transformation, projects, and initiatives successful,” Kondrach said. “Leadership must be intentional about providing a diverse environment where people feel valued, can take risks, have fun, and grow and develop technically, personally, and professionally while aligning with institutions, goals, and objectives. This intentional leadership mindset creates a work-life balance, which is meaningful to employees and enables them to perform at their best, be highly productive, and be the best version of themselves.”
Providing leadership in higher education also takes place amongst Kondrach’s peers, especially fellow women. In 2018, she was named an executive sponsor to Edge’s Women Leaders in Technology professional network. She also serves as a member of the Edge Board of Trustees.
Women Leaders in Technology
At the 2019 EdgeCon Conference, Kondrach participated in the Women Leaders in Technology Panel Discussion, as well as served as an executive sponsor for the professional network.
“I was very honored to be amongst some really great women leaders who have a ton of accomplishments,” she said. “Women leaders have been challenged over the years on many levels to find higher-level positions and to be recognized and respected appropriately within the workplace. They have had to work very hard to get where they are. These ladies and their stories are all inspiring to me and those around them.”
Kondrach is inspiring women leaders, especially women showing interest in the technology field. Her advice is to be courageous and brave – to go for it. There have been trails blazed by Kondrach and other women, creating opportunities for future women leaders.
Universities and companies are now diligently working to unlock the potential of gender diversity in the workplace and ensure the underrepresented groups, including women, are represented fairly in the workplace and in top management positions. Despite the changes, women in leadership roles continue to still struggle with challenges, and there is still work to be done.
Transformational changes can only take place when a leadership team is filled with diverse, highly qualified, skilled individuals. When diversity exists on a team, there is a broader set of perspectives and creativity that can be leveraged to achieve the desired outcome. The conversations lead to more innovative solutions by having more robust focus and broader vision.
Kondrach said, “Diversity brings together different perspectives to create a more powerful, meaningful solution to whatever problem or challenge is trying to be solved.”
Providing Leadership at Edge
Kondrach has been a part of the Edge team for over 16 years, serving on a variety of boards, including the Board of Trustees. She has watched the member-driven, non-profit technology consortium take huge strides through the years, developing into a strong technology leader throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas.
She believes Edge is far more than an Internet service provider with network capabilities. The technology solutions Edge delivers to its members also encourages collaboration connections and networking with other schools, institutions, organizations and even peer counterparts.
“This value Edge brings to its members is not just the Internet and network capabilities but the collaboration and people connections,” Kondrach said. She further elaborated, “The technology services Edge provides its members deliver real value, especially when comparing the consortia value versus purchasing the products and services that Edge provides to its members alone.” Kondrach explained, “Many of these capabilities members may or may not be able to get on their own.”
As Kondrach continues to step into her role at Princeton and provide leadership at Edge, she looks forward to the future and making an impact every day – no matter how small or large the impact may be. She feels higher education is a superb platform for making a difference and she’s committed to working hard everyday to be an enabler of personal and professional growth and a motivator of transformation, innovation and change.
“My hope, as the Deputy CIO at Princeton, is to be able to be a part of this great University and contribute to their mission to deliver an education of unsurpassed quality and really help deliver the mission here, which is about the betterment of humanity,” Kondrach said. “This mission aligns really well with who I am personally.”
Technology transformation has taken place because of people like Kondrach, and her leadership roles at Rider, Princeton and Edge represent examples of how strategic technology benefits the whole of an institution.
If you’d like to contact Kondrach, she can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.