Long-time IT director selected to head Morgantown-based West Virginia Network

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Network has selected Dr. Carl Powell to serve as the next director.

Powell has a long history of serving as vice president and chief information officer at universities in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio. Powell most recently served as a independent technology and management consultant and chief information officer for the Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Library.

Interim chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Sarah Tucker said adding someone with this level of experience will be an asset for customers, students and the expansion of high-speed broadband.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Powell to West Virginia and look forward to his leadership in this critical need area of our state,” Tucker said. “From saving money through shared technology services, to increasing access to online classes to helping our state improve rural broadband internet access, I’m confident Carl will be a tremendous asset for all of our schools and communities.”

Powell will be responsible for a staff of 55 information technology and higher education professionals and a statewide communications network, providing Internet access, database and information technology support to the West Virginia’s public schools, colleges and universities, libraries, courts, county government and other government organizations. Powell will instrumental in WVNET online learning and administration resources and support systems, such as Blackboard and Banner.

WVNET also operates the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System’s (WVROCKS) an online portal for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. WVROCKS allows college students in West Virginia to enroll in courses at their home institution, but that may be taught by shared faculty from multiple campuses. The online component gives students greater access to the courses they need to complete their degrees on time.

“I am honored to be joining the team at WVNET. They are an exceptional group of talented individuals focused on the future vitality of West Virginia,” says Powell. “I look forward to working with this dedicated team to provide the technology services and support that our universities, colleges, and K-12 schools need for today’s challenges and for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Powell education credentials include a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in computer science from Kent State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Cleveland State University.

Morgantown-based West Virginia Network was founded in 1975 to provide networking services between the state’s universities. It is one of the nation’s oldest research and education networks and today is a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission that continues its original mission to provide high-quality, low-cost academic research and technology services.