Mitchel Davis, who has served as the chief technology and information officer at Bowdoin College for 14 years, has been named Dartmouth’s next vice president and chief information officer. He begins work in Hanover on July 1.
As senior vice president and CIO at Bowdoin, Davis was part of the college’s leadership team, guiding strategic and operational decisions on academic and business technology and leading the college’s digital marketing, social media, and web design departments.
Provost Carolyn Dever says Davis was chosen from among several excellent candidates for the position.
“Mitchel Davis’ extensive experience in the field of academic and business technology and his demonstrated skill as a leader will be invaluable in the vital role of managing Dartmouth’s evolving technology during a time of great change in higher education,” she says.
Davis says leaving Bowdoin was a difficult decision. “But the more I learned about Dartmouth, the easier the decision became,” he says. “The collaborative environment, the accomplished faculty, the dedicated staff, and the engaged students showed me how exciting and rewarding the position would be. I look forward to working with the IT staff and developing partnerships across campus, learning more about Dartmouth, and beginning our journey together.”
Davis will report to Dever and Executive Vice President Rick Mills and will lead Information Technology Services, which has a staff of about 160. Davis’ responsibilities will include providing vision, leadership, and long-range direction for development and implementation of IT initiatives that align with Dartmouth’s mission and strategic plan. He will work with campus leaders in support of academic, research, and administrative operations.
Daniel Rockmore, a professor of mathematics and the William H. Neukom 1964 Distinguished Professor of Computational Science, chaired the search committee that interviewed CIO candidates and provided Dever with feedback. He says Davis impressed the committee with his breadth and depth of experience and record of accomplishments in IT.
“At Bowdoin, Mitch has truly transformed the way in which information is managed in order to support the mission of the institution. He has created extraordinary partnerships with leading IT companies, both for the purposes of keeping the campus on the cutting edge of technological advances as well as creating employment and learning opportunities for students,” Rockmore says.
“Mitch has a strong record of transparent and collaborative decision-making. Nimble, secure, and intelligent information management is central to the success of any great university in today’s age.”
At Bowdoin, Davis says, he worked with “an incredibly talented and hard-working staff as I led the IT division to become a consulting organization and a strategic partner across the campus.
“We developed a culture that invested in the suite of skills necessary for an agile team to deliver next-generation technology solutions: technical, project management, leadership and communication skills. These skills were essential to creating a trusted and valued IT team that increased the operational speed and capacity of the institution and helped establish a change-positive culture.”
Davis started at Bowdoin in 2003 as chief information officer and in 2014 added senior vice president for information technology to this title, expanding his responsibilities to include marketing and digital and social media. He created new departments at the liberal arts college, including institutional research, analytics and consulting, and digital and social media.
Before Bowdoin, Davis spent five years at Stanford University, where he was executive director of academic technology and consulting for two years and the associate dean and CIO for the law school for three years. At the same time, he was the chief technical officer of the Quest Scholars Program, a leadership and science education program for talented, financially challenged youth. He has held other IT positions at University of Oregon School of Law and has worked as a consultant for various for-profit businesses.
Davis holds two bachelor’s degrees, in English and in history, from the University of Nevada, Reno. He completed the Advanced Management Program in executive education at Harvard Business School.
Dever thanked members of the search committee for their time and effort. In addition to Rockmore, the members were Chris Amos, professor of biomedical data science; Justin Anderson, vice president for communications; Frank G. Archambeault, director of network services; Devin Balkcom, associate professor of computer science; Geoff Bronner, senior associate director for online services and information technology at the Tuck School of Business; Sarunas Burdulis, mathematics department system administrator; Christine Cook, chief financial and administrative officer at Thayer School of Engineering; Josh Kim, director of digital learning initiatives; Barbara Knauff, assistant director of educational technologies; Steve McAllister, Geisel School of Medicine computing; Mark McPeek, the David T. McLaughlin Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences; Sue Mehrer, dean of libraries; Mike Wagner, Dartmouth’s chief financial officer; Mark Williams, associate professor of film and media studies; and Martin Wybourne, vice provost for research.
Davis succeeds Ellen Waite-Franzen, who retired from Dartmouth a year ago. Joe Doucet, ITS chief technology officer and deputy information officer, has worked as interim vice president for ITS while the College conducted the nationwide search that resulted in Davis’ hiring.