Veteran brings deep IT expertise and strategic direction to campus
ATHENS, Ohio (March 7, 2007) -- Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis announced today that Brice Bible will become the university's chief information officer, effective April 16.
Bible comes to Ohio University from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he is interim CIO and assistant vice president for Information Technology.
"Brice stood out for his ability to think analytically, work with all stakeholders and understand organizational issues," McDavis said. "We wanted someone with a record of success who could create a strategic direction for IT that fits in with our mission of academic excellence."
Overseeing an $18 million budget and approximately 150 employees, Bible will lead the university's central information technology group, which comprises computer, infrastructure and security policies, central e-mail, telephone, computer networking and administrative data services. He will report directly to the president as a member of the senior administrative cabinet.
At Tennessee, he was responsible for all aspects of information technology and led IT restructuring efforts that included implementing a comprehensive IT security plan, strategic assessment of IT, and a new system that consolidated e-mail and calendar items on campus. He also fostered a partnership between University of Tennessee faculty and the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory that created a network for advanced research projects.
Other Bible initiatives helped reduce costs and improve learning resources. For instance, he developed a print management system for student computer labs that reduced paper expenditures by 50 percent and was instrumental in developing an information commons area in the library.
Bible's experience goes beyond technology. He has been involved in teaching, research, applied research and academic programming in higher education. He holds numerous patents and has experience in private industry.
"The words that come to mind with Brice are 'balanced' and 'expertise,'" Hans Kruse, professor in the School of Communication Systems Management who sat on the search committee, said of Bible. "Brice showed in his campus visit an understanding of administrative computing systems and of IT support for the academic side of the university. I thought he was very balanced in that way."
Bible is not daunted by the challenges Ohio University's IT operations have faced; in fact, he believes there's an upside to the scrutiny and transparency that resulted.
"This was one of the best opportunities from an IT perspective in the whole country today," Bible said. "There are CIOs who would give anything to have their universities collectively talk about, openly discuss and debate what everyone wants from IT," he said.
Bible has worked at University of Tennessee since 1990, in various units including its Center for Space Transportation and Applied Research; the Technology Transfer, Industrial Relations and Continuing Education office; and the research and information technology division. Prior to joining the university, he worked for the utilities industry.
"I feel strongly that my background fits very well with where Ohio University is today. I want to help transition IT into the type of program this university deserves," Bible said.
"Brice is an unusual IT person because he can communicate his ideas to basic users of technology in a way that they understand it," University of Tennessee Provost Emeritus Anne Mayhew said. "He took the clunky, home-grown IT system that was in place for years and streamlined it into an impressive IT portfolio. He was great to work with and did an extraordinary job during difficult times at the university."
Vice President for Finance and Administration Bill Decatur served as chair of the CIO search committee. Shawn Ostermann, associate professor and chair of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, stepped in as interim CIO in December.
Bible, 45, earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Tech University and his MBA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
A native of South Pittsburg, Tenn., Bible and his wife, Chele, have three children: Joshua, 21, Matthew, 19, and Anna Rose, 9.
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