Sr. Engineering Managers - Office of Information Technology

Apply now Job no: 516531
Classification:Information Systems Manager 4
Grade:Grade 84
Work type:Staff Full-time
Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Statewide
School/Business unit:SW OIT Applications Services
Location: Fairbanks
Categories: Engineering/Computer Science, Information Systems/Technology

Position Summary:

The University of Alaska System’s Office of Information Utilization is seeking two experienced engineering team leaders who are committed to a) agile solution development practices and b) working together and with peer management to ensure the university’s market-facing success.


10- Owns the technology practices and standards for their team - Owns the technical architecture, drives engineering design and shoulders critical decisions. Continually surfaces and reduces technical debt that threatens university success. - Derives a roadmap from articulated and implicit university strategy and maintains the UA-facing roadmap for the team’s technology products and services. - Works effectively with a cross-functional team of product managers, designers, developers and QA, as well as the functional verticals (i.e., departments). - Effectively communicates the team’s productivity and manages university perception of the team itself. - Collaborates with the Customer/User Support teams to keep track of and triage technical issues through to resolution. - Collaborates with Talent Acquisition to drive sourcing, screening, interviewing, recruitment and development of the right talent for a diverse, self-sufficient team - Continuously improves the productivity of the team through investments in training, tools, automation, process and continuous delivery - Owns the morale of the team, unblocks them at critical junctures, break ties in a timely and equitable manner. - Supports the careers of team members, delivers regular and timely feedback, and rewards the top producers to emphasize that results matter.Essential
10Administers the Infrastructure Self Services (ISS) departmental budget and handles preparation of operating and project budgets; forecasts additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; monitors and approves expenditures; primary responsibility for operating and reporting cloud billing software packages; and implements mid-year adjustments. Projects needs for upgrading platforms, environments or software; discerns applicability of new technologies; makes recommendations concerning the selection and purchase of cloud or database software packages, vendor products or services; Consults with users and other IT departments, as appropriate.Essential
15- Works under long-range administrative direction, reports to second administrative level below UA President (this position > Executive Director > CITO > UA President > BOR); - Strategic advisor to UA President's Executive staff and UA-wide IT leadership in policy matters involving enterprise information technology infrastructure as that enables university business outcomes and strategically advantageous partnerships; - Responsible for UA accomplishing market advantageous utilization of its data by all its members, including students. This requires an extraordinary culture change. Compartmentalizing data in the name of protecting data to the point of confounding its discovery and undermining its widespread use will no longer be tolerated because those legacy practices have in part diminished UA's market standing. - Responsible for accomplishing a zero down time computing infrastructure customer experience, including effectively advocating for the resources needed to deliver. Technology debt for the shared enterprise computing infrastructure can no longer be permitted to jeopardize UA operations. - Advances computing infrastructure self service model by leveraging infrastructure as code and any generally available computing innovations. - Emphasizes cloud agnostic, containers first principle so that Academic, Administrative and Research computing loads can be seamlessly moved between on-premise hosts, Amazon AWS, Google GCP, Microsoft Azure, Oracle OCI and other clouds, all to the university's cost and market advantage. UA cannot be a one cloud enterprise because there are readily available cost advantages to those whose computing loads are portable. - Responsible for staying current on and implementing prevailing UA Internal Audit, General Counsel and BOR-endorsed standards and best practices regarding information system controls and auditing, currently the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) guidelines as described in the Control Objectives for Information Technology (COBIT).Essential
20- Responsible for overall capabilities of OIT's Infrastructure Self Services department including those of its directly employed personnel, outsourced professional services personnel, vendor relationships, all reflected in department productivity metrics; - Responsible for re-purposing allocated positions (change PDs) and changing departmental structure to adapt department to UA needs; - Responsible for all decisions regarding staffing levels, hiring, promotion, and dismissal; departmental procedures, training, technical and administrative proficiency to meet current and future skill requirements in support of the UA System; - Responsible for conducting performance reviews of staff to identify and then appropriately address attitude, knowledge, skills and/or abilities gaps; - Responsible for fiscal planning, monitoring, budgeting and all procurement, purchasing and travel authorizations; - Supervises lower lever IS managers, IS supervisors and technical leads; - Sets goals, defines objectives and monitors/adjusts department performance;Essential
20- Serves as the primary technical architect for enterprise computing infrastructure ensuring it gives advantage to UA in the markets it enters. - Oversees on-premise and cloud computing services to UA; negotiates contracts for upstream technology products and services. - Serves as a strategic advisor to upper management, is an authority on matters pertaining to cloud (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) and database services. - Directs and plans activities and functions involving multiple business functions (cloud platform and database environment), programs or projects. - Directs lower level managers, and professional, classified, and apprentice-level staff in developing and implementing cloud based platforms and systems, enterprise database management systems and operating programs.   - Responsible for planning and directing the activities of a highly technical staff of Infrastructure Engineers, Cloud Engineers and Database Administrators. - Supervises the work of Infrastructure & Cloud Engineering staff by facilitating and tracking project status; identifying problems and issues; allocating appropriate resources and ensuring that technical support services are completed on schedule and at the highest levels of quality. Assists staff in the delivery of technical services as necessary and appropriate. - Manages, establish goals, and assign workload to lower level managerial, professional, classified, and apprentice-level technical staff. Directs staff activities in reviewing, operating, and maintaining the operating systems and the administration, development or enhancement of various cloud platform and database management systems. - Consults with executive directors, upper management, and departmental users to identify cloud platform and database requirements; sets priorities; directs assigned staff in the development of new applications, functions, feature sets of new services, or systems operations. Develops and implements standards, policies and procedures related to both system-wide and enterprise cloud and database systems and operations.Essential
25- Generating results matters. Candidates is serving in a management role so is exclusively responsible for producing market-facing results through effective, collaborative and innovative use of available resources. - Candidate effectively recruits, selects for, retains and develops technically remarkable individuals who represent diverse perspectives while sharing a passion for higher education products and services. - UA's unmitigated student enrollment decline began in 2012 and continues in 2021. Candidate must overcome an entrenched concern-based culture that has diminished the organization's market performance and standing by strongly emphasizing market experimentation over hesitation, and insisting that usage-based fee-paying-customer feedback set the compass direction for use of available resources. The new approach is to rapidly deploy minimum viable/adoptable features so that usage-based customer feedback will inform upcoming iterations / sprints. - Candidate is expected to create a culture of employees being members-leaders of accountable, self-organizing teams empowered to graduate enrolled students in the shortest time with the lowest education debt. This new culture and compound key performance indicator are in effect at all times for Candidate and reporting teams. For too many years five to seven out of every ten students admitted to a UA bachelor's degree program never earn their degree, so Candidate must exhibit a strong bias for insisting that paying customers get the higher education credential they were promised they could earn. - Candidate ensures their team's collective energy is applied effectively and efficiently to accomplish organizational goals, simultaneous with advancing the individual career goals of the reporting employees. - Candidate delivers on a shared engineering vision that brings market advantage to the university system. - Candidate oversees the technical standards leveraged by their team and is responsible for lifecycle update of standards. - Candidate implements agile development practices and emerging refinements. - Candidate strongly supports the principle of customer self-sufficiency, extending to every level of the enterprise, so from students themselves to every university staff and faculty member and their respective departments / business verticals. Just like downloading a pdf file, ISS customers should be able to obtain a software container (server) without interacting with any OIT personnel.Essential

The University of Alaska System is recruiting for two, Grade 84 Engineering Managers through a single recruitment. Both vacancies / opportunities oversee enterprise technologies optimization for Alaska’s only publicly funded higher education entity.

  1. Sr. Engineering Manager for Infrastructure Self Services
  2. Sr. Engineering Manager for Enterprise Applications Services

Each manager is the enterprise architect for the portfolio of university capabilities enabled by their teams, until delegated to a capable team member.

Each manager is the scrum ceremony leader (scrum master) and agile coach, until delegated to a capable team member.

The University of Alaska System boasts three Chancellor-led, multi-campus universities serving 20,000+ headcount students located throughout the state. The System has a significant sponsored research mission and is seeking Carnegie R-1 standing from a current R-2 ranking.

Reporting up to the Chief Information Technology Officer, each Sr. Engineering Manager is responsible for multiple agile teams, each wholly responsible for enabling a strategically important university internal capability and/or a differentiating market capability. Persons acting in the role of Sr. Engineering Manager are co-responsible for the success of the university in the markets that it enters. Revenues matter. Results matter.

During 2018 these manager led teams began transitioning all work to sprint-based planning and execution. Incoming requests are now resolved into sprint-length tasks and assigned user story points that represent the business value of each output. The managers, with the assistance of scrum masters, continually improve each team’s story point velocity. One of the core values of lean IT and agile is getting minimum viable features into the hands of customers quickly so that usage-based feedback is available to guide solution design and use of limited resources.

The teams that report to these managers need to complete their tasks in a predictable, highly efficient manner because they administer the solutions that support tens of thousands of students and thousands of university employees. To that end the product team model is being leveraged where all the skills and abilities required to make calendar-based promises to the university are present on the team. 

When describing this position we are explicitly avoiding use of ‘Master’ and ‘Owner’ terminology and similar possibly inflammatory words. However, the exact terms used in industry need to be incorporated as tags since that’s how applicants find job opportunities: Agile Coach, Agile Enforcer, Agile Methodology, Scrum Master, Iteration Manager, Product Owner, Product Team, Capability Team, Lean Thinking, Minimum Viable Product, Minimum Viable Feature, Culture Change, Database Administration, DevOps, Relational Database, RDS, AWS, GCP, Azure, SaaS, iPaaS, HCM, CRM, ECM, CMS,

These Sr. Engineering Manager roles at UA OIT are a full-time, Grade 84, Minimum $89,169.60 annually, based on candidate's education and experience, 12-month position complete with a competitive salary and UA employee benefits package.

These positions lead teams based in Fairbanks, Alaska.  However, partial year tele-working arrangements may be considered after successful completion of six-month probationary period only if UA's post-pandemic policies and regulations are in support.

To apply for this position please submit the following documentation:

 - Cover letter addressing the applicant’s experience and qualifications as they relate to the position/role being recruited. 

 - Contact information for three, readily available professional references who understand the position/role being recruited (name, relationship, email and phone). 

 - CV/Resume tailored to highlight the training, education and experience that relates to the position/role being recruited. 

 - Please submit responses to the following three problems: 

Problem 1: Given the following bash script, explain what the script is doing. (Hint: This is on a Linux machine.)

(for addr in {1..254};


for port in {20..23} 80;


nc -nvzw 1 10.25.0.$addr $port 2>&1;


done) | grep 'open'

Problem 2: Write a shell script that adds an extension “.newold” to all the files in a directory.

Problem 3: What are the total payments over eight years if a solution costs $46,500 per year with a six percent escalator?


Please call the hiring manager at 907-450-8348 for more information (leave voice message with clearly articulated callback info, thanks).

This is an open until filled recruitment with the initial application review taking place on May 3, 2021. To ensure your application is considered, apply by 11:55 pm, 5/2/2021.



• A broad range of technical knowledge and expertise balanced with strong managerial skills is a prerequisite of this position. This senior position provides oversight of all activities performed by the computing infrastructure engineering staff. A market credible, in-depth, hands-on understanding of data center located computer systems, cloud platform systems, and databases (concepts, techniques, and practices) is an essential requirement. Cloud platform and/or Database system certification(s) preferred.

• Extensive knowledge of forward facing computing infrastructure and its operations, as well as related information security principles and practices, with evidence of ability to mentor.

• Evidence of favoring a diverse range of perspectives to accomplish workplace goals, objectives.

• Detailed working knowledge of agile, devops and lean IT practices.

• Situationally adaptive interpersonal skills, including the ability to persuade, influence and communicate effectively with stakeholders at all levels of the university system including chairpersons, deans, directors, department heads, cabinet officers, governance members and leaders.

• Advanced or significantly above average emotional intelligence.

• Understanding of organizational and employee behavior, including strong skills in conflict prevention, management and resolution.

• Demonstrated ability to think systemically, holistically and strategically in specifying and pursuing affordable solutions that give the university competitive advantage in the markets that it enters.

• Excellent planning and organizational skills with the ability to handle numerous complex priorities simultaneously.

• Demonstrated ability to work independently and under long-range administrative direction.

• Ability to perform fluently in a digital environment that includes teleworker team members and consultants, including regular use of virtual meeting environments (Zoom, Google Hangouts, WebEx) and virtual/digital assistants.

• Demonstrated track record of successfully incorporating technology into business solutions for higher education, collaboratively with business units;

• Demonstrated track record of instituting and maintaining exemplary standard of care for subordinate employees as well as the Team's products and services customers / consumers.


• 15+ years of relevant experience in a broad range of computing infrastructure disciplines: cloud platforms, server and database administration, infrastructure as code programming (Ansible, Chef, Puppet), technical analysis, troubleshooting, and documentation + supervision.

• 6 years minimum of progressively responsible management experience involving technology-enabled business infrastructure, ideally as applied to the US higher education market.

• 10 years overall technical experience with evidence of building mastery and architectural/design credibility;

• 6 years minimum experience in supervisory/ management/ administrative leadership roles over FLSA exempt and non-exempt technology professionals, ideally with public sector exposure


• Master’s degree in management, computer science or related field from an accredited institution. A bachelor’s degree and extensive professional experience applicable to the position may be considered.

• Evidence of proactive, continuing self-education in technology and technology team management are required. Includes vendor required/provided technical training, computer-based course work, or professional on the job training in cloud platform, server and database administration, and supervision. 

• Six years of progressively responsible management experience involving technology-enabled business infrastructure in a large, complex enterprise; comparable professional experience in similar setting may be considered.


Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

Affirmative Action Statement:

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

Background Check:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Probationary Period:

Pursuant to University Regulation 04.07.020, new employees of the University are employed in an at-will probationary status for the first six months of employment. During the probationary period, employment may be terminated for no reason or any reason. Promoted employees also serve a probationary period with limited rights of retreat

Public Disclosure Statement:

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

University of Alaska is a Drug-Free Workplace. University of Alaska campuses are Tobacco-Free.

Training Policy:

It is the policy of the University of Alaska (UA) that all employees are required to complete training to meet the requirements of the positions they hold, and to complete the required training within a specified period to remain employed at the UA.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact University of Alaska HR at 907-450-8200.

Advertised: Alaskan Daylight Time
Applications close:

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