Aug. 12 — Brad Wheeler, Indiana University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer, is a 2015 winner of the Indianapolis Business Journal and TechPoint’s CTO of the Year award, the IBJ announced Wednesday, August 12. Wheeler earned the honor in the not-for-profit/government (revenue above $100 million) category.
The IBJ and TechPoint present the award to top chief technology officers who play “vital roles in making Indiana businesses, institutions and not-for-profit groups successful.” Wheeler, who leads university-wide IT services for all eight IU campuses, has helped elevate the university into a technological leader while managing to be at the forefront of transformative changes in the field.
“I am deeply grateful to be recognized by the IBJ and TechPoint with the inaugural CTO Award, but of course, this must be properly understood as an honor for the truly superb team at IU,” said Wheeler. “We benefit from almost 20 years of a culture of continuous IT leadership at all levels that focuses on our mission of education, research and engagement in the life of our great state.”
Under Wheeler’s leadership, IU has taken great strides in information technology. Recent developments include receiving more than $13 million in National Science Foundation international networking awards, as well as $6.6 million for the creation, implementation and operation of Jetstream, NSF’s first science and engineering research cloud. Wheeler also led IU’s eTexts initiative that dramatically reduces the costs of expensive textbooks — a program that began a year before the iPad. He serves on the boards of the IU Research & Technology Corporation, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and the Kinsey Institute.
“This outstanding and highly deserved honor reflects Brad’s tireless commitment to continuing to build Indiana University’s stature as a nationwide leader in the use and application of information technology toward supporting the scholarly mission of the university,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. “All of us can be extremely proud of the progress we have made under Brad’s visionary leadership in strengthening our IT infrastructure and successfully implementing new and advanced technologies to enhance teaching, learning and research all across the university.”
Named vice president for IT & CIO in 2007, Wheeler has kept abreast of innovations in the industry, specifically leading the development of open-source software and service collaborations, including: Kuali for administrative systems, the Sakai Project for teaching and learning software, the HathiTrust that now contains over 13 million digital volumes of scanned books and Internet2’s Net+ Services to accelerate cloud solutions. Wheeler most recently co-founded Unizin, a consortium of universities focused on guiding the direction of the future of digital learning.
As IU’s vice president for IT, he led the tight integration of IU’s IT services across all campuses, new models for network services, and growth of the university’s Statewide IT Conference for over 850 IT professionals. During the recession, he worked with Ivy Tech’s leaders and Zayo Group to extend the I-Light Network to all Ivy Tech campuses across the state, and IU now provides data center services to the community college system. Most recently, Wheeler was charged, in partnership with Carolyn Walters, the Ruth Lilly Dean of Libraries, to implement IU’s bold Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative that seeks to digitize almost 400,000 audio, video and film holdings. The effort is in partnership with Sony/Memnon Archiving services and has established a digitization facility in IU’s Technology Park East in Bloomington.
“Brad Wheeler always finds efficiencies, is amazingly strategic in his foresight, and conceives of new models to improve IT resources at IU and for higher education as a whole,” said Professor Stacy Morrone, IU’s associate vice president for learning technologies and professor of educational psychology at IUPUI. “He is the ideal CIO: forward-looking, transformative, collaborative.”
Wheeler is a professor of information systems in IU’s Kelley School of Business — where he also received his PhD in the same discipline before serving as a professor at the University of Maryland. He is a noted speaker for corporate and MBA forums worldwide and is consistently engaged with improving the economics of higher education through leadership, economic development and collaboration. Many of the initiatives Wheeler has co-founded — including the aforementioned Kuali, HathiTrust, and Unizin — are not only forward-looking endeavors but also cost-saving measures that have reaped significant financial benefits for the university.
This award adds to Wheeler’s growing list of accolades, including the 2013 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award, the national association for IT leaders and professionals in higher education that will bring its 6,000-person conference to Indianapolis in October. Wheeler has also been honored in The Chronicle for Higher Education’s “12 Tech Innovators Who Are Transforming Campuses” in 2012, Government Technology’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation” in 2012 and CIO Magazine’s CIO 100 award in 2009 and 2012.
Wheeler’s recognition as IBJ and TechPoint’s inaugural CTO of the Year follows the publication’s recognition of IU Chief Financial Officer, MaryFrances McCourt, as the 2014 CFO of the year.
Source: Indiana University