Purdue University Global announced this week it’s hired Tim Werth — who’s spent the past five years in director roles at Purdue’s flagship campus in West Lafayette, Indiana — as its first vice president of administrative services and chief information officer.
Since starting on April 1 at Purdue Global, an online university serving roughly 36,000 adult learners, Werth has been tasked in the newly created role with using technology to support the success of its students. Werth, who joined Purdue following three decades in the accounting and finance industry, told EdScoop he has several priorities as he gains his bearings in a new organization.
“One of my major focuses is what are the wide ranging portfolio projects that are currently underway and how do we make sure that we’re prioritizing those, evaluating those and ultimately leading the execution of those projects in line with our strategic objectives?” Werth said.
Higher education has undergone several rapid developments during the pandemic, including institutions catering to greater demand from professionals for certificate programs and adopting more online platforms. Werth said another priority will be to build upon the momentum of these trends, using technology to grow enrollment, enhance the experience of students attending the online school and ensure they’re successful after they graduate.
“Fundamentally our goal is to increase the success of our students and so how we implement innovative technologies to do that from both the pre-enrollment perspective but all along the continuum to post-enrollment is really going to be one of my real near term priorities,” he said.
Werth said his overarching goal is to use technology “as an enabler” for the online institution to seize new opportunities made available by the health crisis.
“We’re very bullish on the opportunities that are there for our adult learners and for untapped markets, if you will, with respect to online,” he said. “It’s a great time to be in higher ed because I think there’s lots of different opportunities to change how you do what you do. And I think that’s the case here as well with our online platforms and our programs and other course offerings.”