Kelli Trosvig to be U-M’s first vice president for information technology


Kelli Trosvig will become the university’s first vice president for information technology and chief information officer, effective Nov. 14. The five-year appointment was approved Thursday by the Board of Regents.

Trosvig is currently the vice president for information technology and chief information officer at the University of Washington.

Kelli Trosvig

Regents created and approved the new executive officer position in February. Trosvig will oversee an integrated information technology strategy for the entire university.

 “Ms. Trosvig’s experience as a higher education leader at the University of Washington will help her lead in U-M’s complex environment, spread across three campuses and our health system,” says President Mark Schlissel.

The VPIT-CIO will ensure that information strategy is appropriately considered in both short- and long-term decision-making and planning for the university and will provide information technology leadership across the institution, noted Schlissel.

“I am excited about joining the team at Michigan,” says Trosvig. “It’s an opportunity to contribute to an outstanding technology community and I look forward to working together to build upon Michigan’s already strong IT programs.”

In her current role at UW, Trosvig works closely with the president, provost, faculty and staff, and information technology boards to provide strategic planning, oversight and direction for UW’s IT infrastructure, resources and services. She also leads an IT staff of 850 individuals with an annual operating budget of more than $116 million and $25 million in annual capital expenditures.

From 2008-12, Trosvig served in similar institutionwide roles as the chief operating officer of UW Technology from 2008-10, and as the interim vice president from 2010-12. 

Major efforts under her leadership at UW have included initiatives to improve the student experience through the innovative use of technology, which earned a Gates Foundation Next Generation Learning Award. Other initiatives include modernization of major administrative systems, improvements to infrastructure, security and privacy across the UW networks and enhanced mobile offerings. 

Prior to serving in campuswide roles, Trosvig held successively responsible administrative positions in UW’s health sciences tackling complex administrative challenges for the dean and chief operating officer.

Trosvig is a recognized leader in higher education information technology serving as a member of Internet2’s Trust and Identity for Research and Education, Operational Excellence, and Programs and Priorities committees.

She is a member of the higher education advisory boards for Microsoft Inc. and Cisco Inc. She also serves on the advisory boards of Tableau Inc. and the Kuali Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open source software solutions for higher education. 

Trosvig earned her Master of Health Administration degree and Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Washington.



  1. Doug Barrow
    on October 20, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    How exciting. Congrats!

  2. Sasha Womble
    on October 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Welcome and Go Blue!

  3. Jennifer Herron
    on October 21, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Congrats and welcome!! Go Blue!

  4. UM Skeptic
    on October 24, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Weak resume. MHA/BA Econ??? Salary +$400K???

    • Former UW
      on November 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      100% agree with UM Skeptic. You should check her actual track record on successful delivery.

    • Jack K
      on November 2, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      The whole situation is concerning. She is known for failure, poor leadership, and creating chaos. UM is still reeling from Laura Patterson’s lack of leadership, get ready for someone who is even less capable. Don’t just talk to the people that she asked to provide her references, talk to her victims and they will tell you the true story. Her references were helping her leave.

  5. Mike Baron
    on November 3, 2016 at 7:02 am

    Not a good investment. You should have checked her “actual” performance at UW. Many have been waiting out her departure and it couldn’t have been soon enough. Good luck U of M. You’ll need it.

  6. Current UW
    on November 3, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Graduated from UW, been employed at UW, child goes to UW, so why the move? No mention of current HR and payroll implementation program and dismal record at its’ helm as Lead Executive Sponsor. Three sponsors recently moved off of the program…likely not because it’s highly successful as this is one of the most visible and far reaching programs at the UW. Perhaps an exit strategy before can be held accountable? UoM appears to be handing out parachutes.

  7. S Acher
    on November 3, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    UM what are you thinking? Does leaders and best not apply to IT with you guys?Her track record is not positive. She creates heavy administrative functions and costs bloating overhead and has little care of the customer or frontline. Little comprehension on how to take care of her people. Cost over runs everywhere with lack of efficiencies then cuts salaries to cover her mistakes. Thank you for taking her. Good luck.

  8. B Wolfe
    on November 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Will Kelli bring her micro-managing ways to UofM? She requires the smallest of details, but doesn’t actually understand how it applies to the big picture. She would like to believe she is strategic, but she isn’t able to do that now. She will need to be a strategist that can also understand operations to be successful. Does paying her more create that sudden skill? She likes to make rapid decisions without understanding the details, though she will ask you for all of them. She likes to ask for input, but doesn’t really listen to understand. Rapid decisions are good, but we know she loves her red tape. Clear that she just doesn’t “get it”. So contradictory, which is proof of lack of understanding. Very skeptical…

  9. Jason T
    on November 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    She’s has to be better than the previous CIO, right? Keys to success: Reduce your bureaucratic overhead. Empower the people. Listen. Be smart about who your top performers are and grow them. Detox and reduce your administration, bigger does not mean better in this area -Ever. Go to the cloud. Support your customers and staff who service them. Learn the culture and navigate it. Recognize and reward. Consolidate and reduce wasteful fluff leadership roles. Collaborate.

  10. Rob L
    on November 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for the relief, UM. We are grateful to finally be out from Kelli Trosvig’s leadership. The years that she has served as our CIO have been full of misery and misdirection. She will tell you that she believes in just gathering information and she is not looking to set blame, but she is. She is cold and lacks the skills of empathy and the ability to build trust because she can’t be trusted. She is aggressive without concern and does not know how to make positive change. She is looking for you to all say “yes”. And she threatens when you’re alone. Do not try to advise or provide any insight that is different than hers. You will lose. She is decent at managing up. She likes to drive discord amongst her peers and plant seeds of doubt in those relationships. She is also easily manipulated by those who have ill-intent, so watch for those she uses as her gatekeepers. She has veiled animosity to all those who want to help and does not build trust or collaborate. These are traits that can’t be coached out of, they are in her personality fabric. She is great at putting on the token attempts of team building with events, but they are just gestures for those who don’t know better. You really should have checked your references, but we will always and forever be grateful that you didn’t.

  11. UM Concerned
    on November 27, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I am an IT employee, and having met her, listening to her, talking to people at UW, and talked to colleagues on UofM’s campus I will say I am concerned about the committee and President Schlissel’s decision. These posts at first seem like maybe trolling, but now it seems more true and people trying to help. People on both campuses and in IT are validating the statements. This a significant concern for us as U of M employees. What is the repeal process? How long do we have to give her? Is she given the same 6 months as the rest of us? The IT organization is shaky at best, there are some true problematic areas, but in reading the blogs and talking to people it sounds like those would what she wouldn’t want to eliminate? She doesn’t have the experience, depth, leadership, or personality that will help us be successful. This is very concerning. What can we do as a University to make this right?

    • Jennifer C
      on November 29, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      This very concerning. Is there a repeal process to this hire? What are our rights in this as campus constituents and tax payers?

  12. UW Shocked
    on November 27, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Heard that UofM is also hiring her husband as part of the package deal. Is it worth it to not only give a golden parachute to her, but her husband, Ivan Eastin, as well? Why the huge generosity? She was not doing a great job here at a smaller scale, so U of M you want her and her husband at a more expensive greater scale? You’re not a private college, these are tax dollars at stake! We overpaid her here. She must really have some really close connections at the UofM to be hired because it’s known that she isn’t there for her skills, knowledge, or experience. It’s definitely who she knows…smh. She talks about her family there, but who has that much influence to get her a highly paid job plus her husband??! Really smh…

  13. T Davidson
    on November 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    What is the difference between her job and Laura Patterson’s? It seems that she is paid more and reports to the President, but the scope is the same? Is this a wise spend on the U’s part? And for her husband too? The word is there is no direct org line to the Health side. Why didn’t she get the same salary or less due to smaller scope and less experience from UW, have her report to the CFO and/Or Provost to focus on the work that needs to be done rather than aspirations that the U isn’t ready for?

  14. T Davidson
    on November 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    What is the difference between her job and Laura Patterson’s? It seems that she is paid more and reports to the President, but the scope is the same? Is this a wise spend on the U’s part? And for her husband too? The word is there is no direct org line to the Health side. Why didn’t she get the same salary or less due to smaller scope and less experience from UW, have her report to the CFO and/Or Provost to focus on the work that needs to be done rather than aspirations that the U isn’t ready for?

  15. Chris H
    on December 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Congratulations on your new CIO.In the years I have had to work with her, I have not been impressed. There is an obvious lack of sincerity in her interactions. She was in over her head as our CIO. She has made many unpopular decisions for us, but could not find the strength to own her decisions. She lacks authenticity and honesty, or warmth for people in times of change. She would use the State or the President for the reasoning of why she made changes. She had the inability to negotiate win-win solutions in difficult circumstances as you would expect as a VP. She is missing diplomacy and sincerity, with a significant focus on herself and her needs. She was not a visionary or strategic leader and she failed to see the bigger picture to help propel us forward. She was not capable of managing her peers to build trust. She was able to “fix” some things by rule enforcement and totalitarian leadership. Many of us were not able to share our opinions when she was with us, but heard that this was a chance for us to finally give our feedback. Best of luck to you. Perhaps her style will fit you better than us.

  16. C Lindsay
    on December 3, 2016 at 12:40 am

    The next three months will be revealing on what kind of person was hired. Will she live up to her reputation and waste a significant amount of University money with the dual spousal hire? Will she make slashes to the IT workforce to make her mark? Which goals could she accomplish with brute force or collaboration? Would she be strategic and reduce the fat and unnecessary areas that do not affect the customers? Does she value and understand our campus and culture? Or know what those needs happen to be? Who will she listen to and allow for counsel? She will need to chose well. She is on stage and we are all watching.

  17. Eric H
    on December 3, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Is anyone else concerned here? Should we be? It seems we now will have a show to watch…

    • Andrew W
      on December 4, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      I certainly think this is concerning. The question is, does anyone even care what we think? She landed the job, so clearly she can tell a story and manage up. The question is can she deliver and not destroy?

      • Tom A
        on December 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        So far the signs point to, no. It doesn’t seem like anyone cares what we think and she doesn’t seem to know listen either. The question is, does the President know what he is doing to our beloved institution?

  18. Steve S
    on December 4, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    This reminds me of that Jordan Miller situation a few years back. Legit references were clearly missed.

  19. Cathy A
    on December 7, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I have met her, and I will need to agree with others here. She is missing a certain quality that makes one want to work with her, trust her, or follow her. There is an obvious lack of warmth or humanity that she exudes. She is very dismissive and conceited in her demeanor, in a way that she treats the people she is speaking to like idiots. This seems to be a tremendous time of change for IT, and change could be painful, but a leader will need to do this with the thought that they are working with humans. There is a sense of that which is missing from her, and will be most noticeable when you observe those whom she surrounds herself with. This is a sad time for the University of Michigan. I would expect that those who really are your leaders and best will be fleeing faster than you can fix her.

    • J Baker
      on December 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Relax….Just be prepared to tolerate her personality, answer with a “right” every time she says “right” and you will be fine. We survived her, you will too.

    • J Baker
      on December 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Relax….Just be prepared to tolerate her personality, answer with a “right” every time she says “right” and you will be fine. We survived her, you will too.

  20. Deb M
    on December 8, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    This is really a disgrace. She does not embody the qualities that we expect to represent us at the University of Michigan. The University of Michigan is a national brand that needs to be held to a high standard. We are paying a significant salary to her and possibly her husband, and this is who we get? I attended a recent event where she was also in attendance and the negative comments she was making were appalling. The blatant disregard for professionalism and integrity is very disturbing. She doesn’t know me or the ones around her, and her lack of regard for others is a poor representation of leadership and our University. I hope that the President and Regents will make a rapid and decisive action to undo this decision before further damage could be done. I do not work closely with her and I am still embarrassed to be associated with her through the University.

  21. Dustin B
    on December 11, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    We have a significant deficit at UW, but to solve our budget issues she was not strategic in making it better for us. Clearly, since she is no longer here and we still have a deficit and multiple projects in critical states. Be prepared for pay-cuts and reductions in staff, but without clear communications and logic. She may stop all hiring, but again without understanding the impacts of her actions and no strategy. Rather than own any of her decisions she will tell you it’s the president, provost or her direct reporting team – basically anyone else but her. She won’t be the leader, it’s always blaming someone else when the going gets tough or pretending she didn’t know. She never understood that there are always ways to reduce costs with improvements, innovation, using central services, removing unnecessary administrative bloat, collaboration, finding revenue, but those were not her first choices. She built a level of mistrust and animosity that couldn’t be mended. Those may not be the same issues at U of M, but it’s best to let the buyer be aware. Best of luck to you all.

  22. Grace S
    on December 12, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Wow. I just heard about this. I am an alum with a child who attends the University. This is not how we want to see our money spent. We are looking at hundreds of thousands and it seems like this person does not represent the tradition and culture that is important to us here. Absolutely disgusting and a waste of my tax and tuition money. Is there anyone who could vouch for her?

  23. UW Survivor
    on December 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    The lack of authenticity that she exudes is the most authentic aspect to her. In otherwords, if you must deal with her, do make sure you watch your back.

  24. UM Staff
    on December 14, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    R E P E A L. It really is the right thing to do.

  25. Mike S
    on December 16, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I think many can vouch for the truth to these comments. Unfortunately, No one can stand up to her title and her strong support of the President, but if you interact with her at all the validity of these statements will be apparent. She is severely lacking integrity as part of her character, and this reflects poorly towards the President and the University. Its common knowledge that she has been heard making disparaging remarks about the vice provost who led the hiring committee to bring her onboard, and now he has to deal with her questionable character . How can she already betray someone so quickly? Is there no loyalty? We are about to enter some dark times fellow Wolverines. There hasn’t been a leader this poor with this much power before, and we will all suffer because of it.

  26. M P
    on February 2, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Just another example of feminists taking over while men are RIFFED and demoted. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to management and now there is noplace left to go and I get paid less then many women in ITS.

    • A Woman
      on February 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

      You just need to suck it up and stop your whining. Everyone has to pay their dues. Work harder or something. Solitaire skills will only get you so far.

  27. J Miller
    on February 7, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    It seems so far, the only person that can accept her is the president, Mark Schlissel. However, his continued support of her has made his own credibility be questioned- to put such an ill-equipped person in place knowingly and allowing her incompetence to prevail speaks volumes to his inability to lead the university in a way that is needed. Removing her will take some managerial chops, but it’s currently not clear that he has such skills as an academic and physician. It appears at this time that either he is blind to her destructive behavior or is afraid to step up and own the issue that he has created by bringing her to our University.

  28. L P
    on February 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    It seems we should give her a chance, it’s only been 5 months….how long does it take for an executive to be effective? We will know how successful or not she will be based on what she delivers. What she came up with on her own and what she decides to ride on the coat tails or take credit for that she clearly didn’t do. Has she started casting blame yet? Is everyone at ITS and campus just doing everything wrong? Is any of the feedback about her reaching the other executives? Regents? Are there any positive interactions with her? We need to know if she is here to improve the customer and employee experience. Does she know what works and doesn’t work? Is she planning on making more processes manual like the enterprise apps team that takes away apps and requires you to use paper? Will we need to wait longer to get anything done at ITS? Will the enterprise systems team continue to over promise and under deliver, what do they even do over there? They do not need to create their own peoplesoft, yet there is an army. Will she bring more red tape and administrative burden? ITS can’t seem to wait to stumble on themselves when it comes to big projects and make big messes. Is she relying on anyone relevant for guidance, or is it only Jim Behm because he is clearly related to someone important? The very same Jim Behm who stares at you with owl eyes hoping for a miraculous clue – in other words, she is looking for those who don’t have their own experience or opinion so she doesn’t feel threatened by their accomplishments. How much longer are we to wait to see if she or Jim (the newest of her faithful recruits) to actually produce something worthwhile? You’re on stage people, start performing already….

  29. Freedom for Washingon
    on February 17, 2017 at 9:33 am

    FWIW, this is a true demonstration of transparency and freedom of speech. All these comments may appear harsh, but the truth often is. We know first hand. Imagine being on the receiving end of her wrath or war path. We need to cherish and applaud the ability to openly express our thoughts and opinions without the fear of retribution. It’s evident that she has not changed her ways, only her location.

    KUDOS to the University of Michigan and the Record for allowing us to share the experiences that at UW we were unable to do so, and thank you to all of those who have reached out to us to help us find our voice. Our comments and viewpoints were either blocked or erased from the public forums that we were using in the past. I encourage you to never do the same. We never would have had to work with such individuals for 20+ years with no one knowing the truth if our opinions were allowed and not masked.

    • Concerned Employee
      on February 22, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      There was a lot of pressure from Kelli to determine the source of these comments and to stop allowing comments altogether. She wanted to know if we could track the origin of the posts via the website logs, IP addresses, etc. Can you imagine that? We declined these requests.

      • Thanks Record
        on March 17, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        Yes, we believe that she would want the truth to be hidden as it fits her character. Thanks to the Record that we are being heard and informed of the information she has been trying to hide from us. Keep being strong and standing up for the freedom of speech!

        • UMich Employee
          on March 20, 2017 at 10:28 am

          Dr. Schlissel…..are you listening to this?

  30. S T
    on February 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    We can only hope that someone that has the ability to make a difference will help us through this. Since Ms. Trosvig reports to the president, it seems that he on the Regents are the only ones who could take action. Such a significant expense on a role that doesn’t make sense for where the University is right now. After Laura Patterson, we were briefly on the path of righting the ship, and it looks like this new CIO will quickly derail the positive course that ITS could take. She is such an unfortunate choice in a hire. We wish those in ITS the best of luck with this one, it seems that you will need it.

  31. U Washington
    on February 28, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Something she liked to do with us was to bring an organizational development consultant to assess what was our with our organization’s “climate”. This was her “strategic” move to escape accountability and her own lack of leadership and organizational expertise and those in her “office of the vp” areas (i.e. HR, Organizational development, Communications, Strategy, etc). She felt she needed to have outside help come into do her climate assessment and make recommendations on how to make us a better team. The issue was, if you are too arrogant to see past your own nose, it doesn’t matter how many consultants you hire. She is all talk and no action. At least not in a good way. Nothing she did satisfied her customers or employees – or anyone for that matter. Our good leaders left, we got stuck with people who had no where to go or were biding their time or were there to agree with her. Most of us just tried to transfer out or not get into her line of sight. The lazy and useless were well served, and she clearly never solved anything that she was supposed to. she moved around our university for years so she couldn’t be held accountable. It was playing shifting the trouble, until she had no where else to shift but out. She made everything worse. Kelli’s leadership hired her an executive coach when she continued to fail hard, but what we learned was that you can’t coach integrity or competence. Just like you can’t teach humanity. It’s either you have it or you don’t. Its clear she doesn’t have any of these qualities. It took us too long to move her out. I wouldn’t recommend that you wait too long at UM. The damage multiplies as time passes, and it will take a long time to undo what she is doing. Thanks for the chance to share, hope you don’t go through what we did. Learn from us. Cut your losses. Move on. Good luck, Michigan.

  32. P S
    on March 7, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    She was very sick last week, and she was fully aware of it as she told anyone that would listen about how sick she was. What was most sickening was that as a leader of a university with a prominent health care organization, why do you not know that the flu is contagious? Why not set a positive example and show care for your colleagues by staying home? Why contaminate us at every single meeting you attend? We are captive audiences to your meetings and presentations plus we are obligated to shake your hand. Are you so ignorant of how contagious these illnesses happen to be? Its selfish and it’s conceited. We have to be exposed to you and by exposing us, we are spreading illness. We know for a fact that you are granted sick days you could use. Why won’t you use them? What about demonstrating leadership by taking time away to recover, so then we know as regular non-Vice President type employees that it’s ok for us to do it too. Especially since we know you have since contaminated us all and spread us your illness. Are we all now expected to work and not be allowed to recover at home because you set the bar to this unrealistic level? It doesn’t make you stronger or tougher, it just highlights your weaknesses as a person and leader.

  33. Lynn M
    on March 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    In speaking with Washington, they warned of a trick she successfully applied for years to build divisiveness and break up teams and careers. Ms. Trosvig was notorious for gaslighting them when she was alone or in small groups.

    What is gaslighting?

    Gaslighting is when an abusive person, or group of people, target another person (or group of people)and manipulate said target by creating doubt. This doubt is created by convincing the target to question their own memory, awareness, lived experiences, skills, and eventually their ability to discern what is right or wrong. In some situations, the target has so much self doubt they question their sanity. She then created doubt with other people of the original target to try to destroy credibility of colleagues, or peers. She was supremely successful in causing animosity amongst her peers, then turning them against each other. This was a very skillful way to hide her own inability to deliver results because she was able to place blame on others, and she was not particular who that person or group was that she could lay blame. She did this with her own team too, and used this to get rid of those that she felt threatened by. There was nothing worse for her than to have people who worked for her that were smarter or more successful.

    This is a formidable weapon of dictators, abusers, con artists since the dawn of time. Emotions can be manipulated, especially in times of tension, strife, and change. Are we being duped by the new vice president? It was shared that with Trosvig, facts will become interchangeable with opinions, blinding us into arguing amongst ourselves as our very reality is called into question. In other words, she is using the popular weapon of alternative facts. When figures of power fabricate the truth and denounce legitimate facts when they are presented, what they are doing is creating their own reality that they can force onto others, willing or not.
    This classic gaslighting behavior is used by bullies and manipulators. The question is, why is this acceptable for a vice president at UM?

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