Pomona College Appoints a New Vice President and Chief Information Officer

On Oct. 20, Pomona College President David Oxtoby announced the appointment of William Morse to the position of vice president for information technology services and chief information officer (CIO).

“William Morse’s job is to maintain and improve information technology at Pomona College,” Rett Bull, a computer science professor at Pomona, wrote in an email to TSL.

According to Bull, Morse will head a team that will deal with information technology in all aspects of campus life, from the student portal to the computers in classrooms to configuring software and cooperating with the other colleges. Morse will report directly to Oxtoby.

Ken Pflueger, the current CIO and director of ITS, will retire in December and Richard Fass, current supervisor of ITS and vice president for planning, will retire later this year. According to the email from Oxtoby, Pflueger's and Fass' roles will be combined to form Morse's new role.

The search committee for the position, which was composed of faculty and staff, worked with an executive search consulting firm called Brill Neumann.

According to the Brill Neumann website, the CIO “must be able to successfully lead project development processes within the college as well as deliver new system implementations and enhancements on time and on budget.”

The firm brought fifteen candidates before the search committee, who then chose six candidates to interview in person or on the phone, according to Bull. The field was then narrowed down to three finalists, and after meeting and discussing with various groups on campus, the committee arrived at an agreement.

Although Oxtoby made the final appointment, the committee agreed to recommend Morse for the role due to his “range of experience and skills to meet the challenges” of this position at Pomona College and within the consortium in general, wrote Bull.

“We were looking for someone who would bring energy and insight to our management of technology resources and help us think strategically about opportunities across both administrative and academic domains,” Jennifer Rachford, director of the Office of Institutional Research at Pomona College and a member of the search committee, wrote in an email to TSL.

Morse has extensive experience in information technology. During his time at the University of Puget Sound, he cut electrical usage in half with new server technology. Before that, Morse also worked at Oglethorpe University and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Rachford wrote that she was excited for Morse to bring his experience in the liberal arts and “enthusiasm for technology” to Pomona.

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