Brian Nichols


Brian Nichols has served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the University of Kentucky (UK) since 2016.  In this capacity, he provides leadership, collaboratively guiding investment in and support of IT infrastructure and services that leverage the resources of the enterprise in the fields of teaching and learning, student support, research, and patient care to create strategic, scalable, and sustainable information technology capabilities. Nichols has direct responsibility for the resources of UK’s central IT function, partnering with leaders and the UK community in the identification of opportunities to enhance the significant strengths of the enterprise.

Prior to his current role, Nichols served over 25-years in a variety of leadership positions in higher education, including Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Louisiana State University (LSU), Chief IT Security and Policy Officer (CISO), Chief Risk Management Officer (CRMO), Associate Vice President (AVP) for Administration, Senior IT Auditor, and in other roles in administration and finance, operations, application development, information systems, user support, audit, disaster recovery, and telecommunications.

Nichols holds a BS and a Masters of MIS from LSU. He holds key certifications, including the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems), 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. He is involved in various other efforts in the higher education community, including EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and RUCC. Nichols was a member of the 2008 Frye Leadership Institute.

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • The Sound of Inevitability: An Interview with Brian Nichols
    • Article
    • Author

    In higher education, we live in an age of data and IT infrastructure vulnerability. It’s not a matter of “if” an incident will happen at your institution; it’s a matter of “when.” It is inevitable.

  • Alternative IT Sourcing: A Discussion of Privacy, Security, and Risk
    • Article
    • Author

    The sourcing of IT systems and services takes many shapes in higher education. Campus central IT organizations are increasingly responsible for the administration of enterprise systems and for the consolidation of operations into a single data center.

EDUCAUSE Presentations