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Brian Lesser appointed chief information officer

New position designed to align IT services with academic plan
Category:From the Provost, and Vice-President, Administration and Finance
September 04, 2015
Brian Lesser

Brian Lesser led the transition to Google Apps for Education and the new learning management system. 

We are very pleased to announce that Brian Lesser has been appointed Ryerson’s inaugural chief information officer (CIO) effective Sept. 1, 2015. This newly created position is designed to align Ryerson’s information technology (IT) services with our Academic Plan and vision to become Canada’s leading comprehensive innovation university. It is also in response to the critical and increasingly complex role IT plays in learning, teaching, research and strategic planning.

Reflecting the way IT bridges academic and administrative work, Brian will report to both the provost and vice president, academic and to the vice president, administration and finance. This model will facilitate the development of a more cohesive university-wide approach to providing IT services, with the goal of working collaboratively with all Ryerson IT service providers.

Since June 2010, Brian has helped lead a number of significant initiatives in his capacity as director of Computing and Communications Services (CCS). Highlights include the transition to external,Google Apps for Education and more recently, the migration from Blackboard to Ryerson’s new learning management system, external,Desire2Learn’s (D2L) Brightspace. Both projects involved extensive community consultation which speaks to the importance Brian places on collaboration. Both changeovers involved town halls, community surveys, emails and regular blog posts - examples of Brian’s commitment to transparency and customer service.

Earlier achievements include the creation of the Digital Media Projects Office in partnership with the Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson Mobile in partnership with the Library, and the external,Ryecast system for recording and streaming lectures and events. Brian has worked with external,Digital Media Zone (DMZ) startups and has been a member of the DMZ steering committee from the beginning.

Brian joined Ryerson in 1989 as an instructor of photography and new media in the School of Image Arts. Since 1995 he has held several positions in CCS including manager, academic computing, and assistant director, application development and support.

Brian has long held an open and communicative approach and he encourages dialogue through many channels. You can write to Brian directly at and you can external,follow him on Twitter. This capacity to connect with students, faculty, researchers and staff and his willingness and ability to serve as a catalyst for change all make him a great fit for the position of CIO. Please join us in congratulating Brian on his new role.


Mohamed Lachemi Janice Winton  
Provost and Vice President Academic Vice President, Administration and Finance