Mark Barry is currently CIO and IT Director for the UK and Ireland at the high street retailer Boots (Walgreens Boots Alliance), where he has played a leading role in developing the digital agenda for an organisation with a 168-year heritage.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is an internationally-renowned university providing high-quality academic, social and cultural facilities for over 16,000 students. The institution is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world and 12th in the Complete University Guide 2018. UEA has been consistently in the top ten for student satisfaction since the National Student Survey (NSS) was established. Both the Times Higher Education (THE) and Leiden rankings currently place UEA in the world top 100 for research citation impact.

The Director of IT who will be charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive IT & Digital Strategy which will fundamentally transform the delivery of services and systems to create a world-class technology infrastructure supporting excellent teaching and learning, support world-leading research, cost efficient corporate platforms and place digital thinking at the heart of all UEA does. Leading a large, diverse directorate, the Director of IT will drive change to foster a culture of customer service, positive stakeholder engagement and agility to respond dynamically to ever-changing opportunities and challenges.

Our search was national in scope and spanned sectors with candidates emerging from within Higher Education, local and central government, the health sector and across the private sector.

Prior to Boots, Mark enjoyed spells at a number of Norfolk based companies, including, Aviva, Baxter Healthcare and Lotus Cars. Mark graduated from UEA in 1982, having studied a BSc in Accountancy, after which he spent 2 years as a Research Associate. Contemplating his appointment, Mark reflects, “I am thrilled to be joining UEA after spending time here both as a student and as a researcher. This is a tremendous time to be involved in higher education and research and I believe that UEA is in a great position to build on its position as a leading institution.” Mark is in the process of relocating to Norfolk with his wife Sue and they are looking forward to enjoying life back in East Anglia.

Mark commented to Society:

“After many years in the commercial sector I am really excited to be able to bring my experience and approach to support the development of the digital strategy at the UEA. I am positive that technology will play a significant role in maintaining the UK as a global leader in higher education provision and I am thrilled to be part of this.”

Mark joins UEA on Friday, 1 June 2018 and we wish him every success in his new role.