Chief Information Officer
Louisiana State University
Brian T. Nichols serves as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Louisiana State University (LSU). As CIO, Nichols leads the Information Technology Services (ITS) organization and is responsible for university information systems, networking and infrastructure, research IT enablement, user support services and student IT enablement. In addition, he leads the Office of the CIO, which is responsible for IT finance and human resources, IT policy and security, communications and planning, and liaison services to student and faculty communities. Nichols portfolio includes oversight of the Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) initiative and oversight of operations for the Louisiana Optical Networking Initiative (LONI), a regional optical network and grid computing environment for use by researchers in Louisiana and their partners nationally/globally. He was appointed Interim CIO in 2011 and appointed CIO in 2013.
Nichols also continues to serve as the Executive Director for Administrative Services and Risk Management at LSU, reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He was appointed to this position in 2010, and manages organizational planning, budgeting, and administration for Risk Management, Parking, Traffic and Transportation, Environmental Health and Safety, and Financial Systems Services. In this role, he monitors and validates risk measurement and valuation methodologies to ensure the alignment of risk management capabilities with the strategic direction of the institution, and maintains a program for identifying, assessing, reducing, monitoring, and reporting key business risks. Nichols is in the process of establishing an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program at the institution. He also provides guidance/support in the management of risks in contracts, agreements, leases, and other legal documents. Nichols ensures compliance with federal and state laws, is a member of the LSU Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Executive Committee, and currently serves as chair of the Enterprise Systems Task Force, responsible for charting a path for information systems at the University.
Prior to his current role, Nichols served as the Chief Information Technology (IT) Security & Policy Officer at LSU, reporting to the Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO). He was appointed as LSU's first Chief IT Security & Policy Officer in 2005 to head up a newly forming IT Security and Policy Office. In this role he advised the Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO, and University administration on technology deployment, usage, and security issues, and directed the efforts of the University IT Security and Policy Office. His portfolio included University-wide technology and electronic information policy administration; data administration; identity management; incident response; disaster recovery planning; security standards administration; technical risk assessment programs; forensics; and security reviews and consulting. In less than 4-years, Nichols built a flagship-class IT Security and Policy function at LSU where none had previously existed. Nichols also served on the LSU EOC Executive Committee and as "IT Advocate" at LSU - a position created to offer an 'access of last resort' for those with customer service issues.
Nichols previously served approximately 10-years in a variety of positions in higher education, including operations and production services, application development, information systems, user support, telecommunication, internal audit, and disaster recovery.
Nichols holds a BS and a Masters of MIS from the LSU Ourso College of Business Administration. He holds key security certifications, including a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) and CISM (Certified Information Security Manager) in addition to the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor), CIA (Certified Internal Auditor), and CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control) certifications. Nichols was a member of the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Higher Education Information Security Council (formerly the Security Task Force), and is involved in various other efforts in the higher education community, including EDUCAUSE, Internet2, ACUTA, NACUBO, and URMIA. Nichols was a member of the 2008 Frye Leadership Institute.