BELLINGHAM – John D. Lawson has been named as Western Washington University’s new vice provost for Information Technology and chief information officer.
Lawson, most recently vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer at Tulane University in New Orleans, was selected after a nationwide search and will begin his new duties Aug. 15. Lawson succeeds Jerry Boles, who is retiring as vice provost.
“John Lawson is a very experienced chief information officer, who has held the post at two major universities. I’m confident he will provide exceptional leadership in this area and am delighted that he has decided to join Western,” said Western Provost Andrew Bodman.
At Tulane, Lawson was responsible for the technology infrastructure and delivery of technology support for the university. His major accomplishments there included completion of wireless networking for all campuses of the university, negotiation of contracts for a new student information system, reallocating funds to support academic technologies, and renegotiation of telecommunication and other contracts resulting in over $1 million in annual savings. Lawson was vice-chair for the management council of the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, a statewide high-speed optical research network.
“I am excited about the opportunity to serve at Western. The chance to join a great team of Information Technology professionals; a dedicated and talented group of professors; and to serve our students with the other administrators and staff at Western is a true blessing. My family and I are looking forward to living in the Bellingham area and participating in the community,” Lawson said.
Lawson also has served as chief information officer and associate vice president at Pepperdine University, where he was responsible for technology infrastructure and support – including at five campuses in the greater Los Angeles area and four overseas centers. At the University of Oregon, he was associate director for the Center for Advanced Technology in Education, and also served as executive director of the National Educational Computing Association – at the time, sponsors of the largest national K-16 technology in education conference.
He was director of Computer and Information Technologies and associate professor of Computer Science at Lewis-Clark State College and assistant professor and coordinator for Service Courses, Computer and Information Services, at Towson State University.
At the University of Oregon, he received a bachelor’s degree in Geography, master’s degrees in both Teaching Geography and Teaching Computer Science and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction: Computers in Education.
He has been active at the national level in technology and academic computing for both K-12 and higher education. He has served as president of the National Educational Computing Association.
Thevice provost for Information Technologyserves as the chief information officer at Western and works with all areas of the university to coordinate technology planning and implementation, as well as initiating programs that maintain Western's top ranking in technological applications and use of emerging technologies.
Boles has served as vice provost for the past 15 years. He will continue to work at Western on a part-time basis in a different capacity for the next few years.
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