Wendy Woodward named new chief information officer at Wheaton College

In Blanchard 248, you will find Wendy Woodward, who late January began her position as the new senior director of information technology and chief information officer at Wheaton College.
Regarding the new position, Dale Kemp, vice president for finance and treasurer said, “For some time we have not had a single, fully-dedicated leader who would be exclusively responsible for all technology endeavors on campus. Our capable leadership has been decentralized as found in various academic and administrative departments — primarily Information Technology and Academic, Media Technology, Library and various administrative departments. By adding a single fully-dedicated senior director of information technology and chief information officer we are endeavoring to have an enhanced focus and increased service to our students and faculty.”
Woodward’s mission at Wheaton College is to work with the campus on strategic visions and plan for the use of technology around campus, academics, administration and students. She is also to oversee IT services and work with the library, faculty and student advisory committees. Fundamentally, her mission is to “assist the students with their use of technology and how they can use it to make an impact for Christ’s kingdom.”
Woodward’s journey to Wheaton spans 16 years of work in IT. Eleven of those years, Woodward was the university director of technology services at Northwestern University in Evanston, where she was responsible for all customer, IT services marketing and software distribution, telecommunication, project management, faculty and staff desktop support and running technology systems for the school along with many other responsibilities.
Woodward is active in many different higher education IT organizations, including the Illinois Technology Association, the Illinois Technology Foundation, the Google Apps Customer Advisory Board, the Big 10 Committee on Institutional Cooperation and EDUCAUSE. Woodward has also been actively involved in advancing higher education IT overall.
Woodward was also part of a group that collaborated with Google to make Northwestern the first university in the U.S. to fully utilize Gmail for its university email service.
Before Northwestern, Woodward held positions in executive leadership in staffing companies, focusing on human resources and customer relations.
Despite her position at Northwestern, Woodward said she could not see herself at the same position for the rest of her professional life. Then Wheaton came into the picture. The first item on the candidate profile for this position was “mature Christian faith.” When she saw the opportunity to work at Wheaton College, Woodward said she was so excited for this new opportunity where she could work at a place that aligned with her beliefs and a place where she could advance Christ’s kingdom with her expertise. “It seemed too good to be true,” Woodward said.
Woodward has a keen interest in the growing world of technology and the sometimes excessive use of it. She said that she has always had a “natural curiosity about technology, an innate desire to make things better and to make technology easy to use, so it makes sense and is helpful, not hindering.”
Woodward said previously she was always improving business processes efficiency with technology and making things easier with the use of technology. In other words, she was always using it to her advantage. However, she said, “I think that technology should not be the end all be all. One of the challenges that I personally think about is privacy and security. I want to implement this into my role as well.”

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