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Virginia (Ginny) Tomlinson will begin her role as CWU’s new associate vice president and chief information officer (AVP/CIO) on January 2, 2020.
The CIO serves as the university’s senior technology executive and is responsible for delivering secure and high-availability systems to support day-to-day university operations while also developing long-term technology strategies in collaboration with technology stakeholders across campus.
“Technology has already changed our university in many positive ways and the CIO role is a natural center of gravity to realize and support the future of technology at Central,” said Andreas Bohman, CWU’s vice president of Operations. “Ginny comes to us with decades of senior technology leadership in higher education and I am very excited to have her join the Operations team.”
Since 2014, Tomlinson has served as the chief technology officer at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, where she provided strategic leadership and management for all aspects of the institution’s information technology.
“I like being able to provide technology that brings value and makes peoples’ jobs or lives easier,” she said. “That makes me feel personally empowered and my job enjoyable.”
Tomlinson’s two decades of higher-education experience include work as the CIO at Reinhardt University, in Waleska, Georgia, and director of Information Technology Services at Oglethorpe University, in Atlanta.
She is also on the Board of Directors for the NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium. Comprised of universities, colleges, and other Pacific Northwest non-profit organizations, the association aids communication and collaboration among its members on development and use of advanced technology for administrative operations, instruction, and research.
“Ginny’s credentials speak for themselves,” Bohman said. “She is an active and respected member of higher education technology consortiums and boards across the Pacific Northwest. Ginny has extensive experience building strong technology teams in higher education, leading technology innovation to support student success, and delivering secure high-availability systems. That made her an exceptional choice for this position.”
Tomlinson said there have been significant changes in university information technology departments during the past decade, as schools have moved away from offering physical services—such as hardware, networks, and servers—to reliance on cloud-based systems.
“It’s a different type of role—coordinating vendors, overseeing security, and developing process improvements,” she explained. “Looking to the future, I expect there will be even more focus on data privacy and security, and managing those issues. We will also need to find ways to be innovative to adapt to the rapid changes that are now taking place in higher education.”
Tomlinson earned her Master of Science in Information Systems from Georgia State University, in Atlanta, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oglethorpe University.
She will replace Joe Deck, CWU’s interim CIO, who will leave on January 8, 2020 after assisting with the departmental transition, according to Bohman.
Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, Robert.Lowery@cwu.edu
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