New Mexico State University on Wednesday named Thomas Bunton as chief information officer for the five-campus system.
The search for a new CIO was led by a 12-person committee and took about six months, following a number of retirements the university’s IT department last summer. Bunton is currently CIO at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and will start his new position in mid-April, according to a news release on Wednesday. Before his six years at the University of Arkansas, he worked in various IT positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Purdue University.
New Mexico State University enrolled roughly 21,600 students last fall. The previous CIO, Norma Grijalva, retired last summer after 30 years at the university, along with 10 other senior employees from the technology department, including the chief information security officer. The university named a new CISO, Carlos Lobato, last December.
Since Grijalva’s departure, the university’s IT operations have been overseen by an interim CIO, Chris Keilt.
Among the major initiatives announced during the current academic year was “Aggie Launch Pad,” which distributed iPads to all freshman students at NMSU’s main campus in Las Cruces.
New Mexico State University is “positioned perfectly” to positively affect the state and region, Bunton said in the press release.
“Community access and level of seamless experience will be the strategic differentiator between higher education organizations,” he said. “As technologists and educators, we need to make certain any barriers to technology, commonly referred to as the digital divide, doesn’t provide significant obstacles to access or success.”