Transformation and Innovation Program: Who’s who

Program Management Office collaborating with representatives from across campuses, system
By Staff

With CU’s Transformation and Innovation Program (TIP), the four campuses and system administration are collaborating to better position the CU system to efficiently, effectively deliver technology services to students, faculty, researchers and staff. TIP launched last year as a key component of President Mark Kennedy’s strategic planning process.

“The Transformation and Innovation Program has the potential to have an impact on virtually every part of CU’s far-flung operations, so it’s critical that we take a deliberate approach to finding efficiencies and enhancing effectiveness,” Kennedy said.

The effort at the system level is led by the recently formed Program Management Office, which is based in the Office of the President. The Program Management Office follows the systemwide IT strategy as determined by the president and chancellors, and works closely with the TIP Steering Committee, consisting of members from across the four campuses and system administration.

Who’s who in the TIP Program Management Office?

Harper Johnson
Harper Johnson

Harper Johnson, Associate Vice President of Transformation and Innovation

Johnson, who joined CU in 2017, is responsible for TIP. He is focused on aligning and improving IT capabilities at CU through the delivery of reliable, secure and cost-effective technology services and data access, and fostering innovation and effectiveness through a focus on strategic partnerships.

Johnson has over 20 years of experience working on innovative education technology solutions. He has served the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the position of AVC of IT and CIO since 2017. Before joining CU, he led the Information Security and Enterprise Information Solutions teams in support of all Academic and Administrative technology efforts at Northern Arizona University.

He worked in the private sector in the education software industry and managing an on-demand printing business; and served as an officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs at the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

PhuLan Olson
PhuLan Olson

PhuLan Olson, Senior Project Manager

Olson joined CU in 2019. She brings to CU over 20 years of experience in planning, project management, process improvement, information technology, and sales and marketing.

At CU, she will focus on project management of various TIP projects including CU-wide constituent relationship management (CRM). Before joining CU, Olson served in Strategic Accounts at Kaiser Permanente and was instrumental in lifting the organization to the next level by achieving growth, retention and client relations objectives.

Olson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of California, Riverside, a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Southern California, PMP certification from PMI, and MHP designation from AHIP.

Olson enjoys family, running, skiing and a wide variety of cuisine.

Kristen Quintana
Kristen Quintana

Kristen Quintana, Senior Project Manager

Quintana joined CU two months ago to help stand up the TIP PMO and serve as a project manager focused on TIP projects.

Previously in her 12-year career, she worked in education at McGraw Hill, standing up and running a project management office that supported enterprise product implementations. She also served in project management roles at Pearson.

Quintana earned her master’s in project management from Regis University and also has a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.

She coaches softball, and enjoys live music, camping, and rooting for the Broncos. Quintana aims to travel internationally at least once a year.

Lara Ackerman
Lara Ackerman

Lara Ackerman, Senior Organizational Change Manager

Ackerman joined CU in 2017 and has spent the past three years working as an organizational change manager primarily on projects that affect all four campuses. She’s passionate about translating strategic vision to tangible outcomes that move CU forward.

Ackerman has 13 years of dedicated organizational change management (OCM) experience in management consulting and internal roles across many industries including higher education, manufacturing, telecom, financial services, aerospace, and oil and gas. Her projects included merger integrations, business process improvement efforts, enterprise resource planning systems, CRM systems, launching a project management office, organizational design, culture change, and digital transformation.

Before focusing on OCM, Ackerman worked on large-scale technology projects in roles such as business analysis, reporting/data system analysis and development, testing coordination, project management, training, and communications.

An avid traveler and Boulder native, she earned her bachelor’s in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Babson College, and an MBA from CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

The TIP Program Management Office takes guidance and strategic direction from the TIP Steering Committee. Members of the committee are:

CU Boulder: Carla Ho-a, Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Larry Levine, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO); Dan Jones, Vice Chancellor for Integrity, Safety and Compliance.

CU Denver | Anschutz: Terri Carrothers, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, CU Anschutz; Jennifer Sobanet, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, CU Denver; Russ Poole, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO).

CU Colorado Springs: Chuck Litchfield, Vice Chancellor Administration and Finance; Harper Johnson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO), Committee Chairperson.

CU system: Todd Saliman, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Kathy Nesbitt, Vice President of Employee and Information Services; Scott Munson, Chief Information Officer (CIO); Ed Mills, Chief Purchasing Officer; Jason Hunter, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Advancement.

For more information on CU’s Transformation and Innovation Program, please see the TIP website, which also invites stakeholders to share their input.

TIP is committed to sharing regular updates and information as the work progresses.