Michael G. Cato of Poughkeepsie, NY, has been named senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) at Bowdoin College, effective March 1, 2018.
Cato will facilitate all aspects of information technology strategy at the College, including maintaining Bowdoin’s leadership role in educational technology and the high reliability of its current systems while also providing a vision for the digital future in teaching, scholarship, constituent engagement, and operations. He will lead Bowdoin’s information technology (IT) division, comprising a staff of fifty people working in the areas of academic technology and consulting, information security, infrastructure services, enterprise application services, and user services. He will report to Bowdoin President Clayton Rose and will serve as a member of the College’s senior staff.
“Michael comes to Bowdoin with an impressive twenty-year track record of fostering a culture of innovation and leading teams at the forefront of technology in higher education,” said Rose. “His collaborative approach makes him the ideal person to work as a strategic partner with faculty, students, and staff and to guide our dedicated and very talented IT staff. He was the enthusiastic and unanimous choice of our search committee in what was a highly competitive field of candidates. I look forward to working with him and I join with others at the College in welcoming Michael, his wife, Heather Shaughnessy-Cato, and their son, Samuel, to the Bowdoin community.”
Cato currently serves as vice president for computing and information services and CIO at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, a position he has held since 2013. He served as principal investigator for two National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyberinfrastructure grants in support of Vassar faculty research, led efforts to improve campus internet bandwidth, optimized a portion of the campus network for high-performance science applications, and developed partnerships in New York State to support teaching and learning. He also worked successfully with others at Vassar to migrate systems to the Workday platform and to further engage students with an online component for Vassar’s decades-old first-year reading program.
He previously served in several technology-related positions within the University of North Carolina (UNC) System, including interim vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer (2012-2013), director of client services (2011-2012), and director and, later, executive director of health informatics (2006-2011) at UNC Charlotte. His work at UNC Chapel Hill included serving as director of the Tailored Technology Research Group (TTRG) at the Institute for Science Learning and the Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences (2004-2006), as manager of TTRG (2003-2004), and as information technology specialist (2001-2003). He also owned an IT support consulting business in Durham, NC (2000-2006).
Cato serves on the boards of the NorthEast Regional Computing Program (NERCOMP), the New York State Education and Research Network (NYSERNet), the Center for Higher Education CIO Studies (CHECS), and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). He has also been an active leader with Educause, a nonprofit association that aims to advance higher education though the use of information technology.
Cato earned his MBA at Wake Forest University and his bachelor of science zoology degree at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.