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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, March 12, 2015

Westmont CIO Wins Prestigious IT Award

Westmont CIO Reed Sheard has been named a Computerworld Premier 100 IT
Leader for 2015. He accepts this prestigious, lifetime award in March with other top IT
professionals from the business, education, government, service, technology and
non-profit sectors.
Since he arrived at Westmont in 2008, Sheard has employed innovative and
resourceful technology to advance the college’s mission. “Reed has revolutionized
the way Westmont matches appropriate technology to meet the goals of our faculty,
staff and students,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “He has led by listening then
strategically aligning the college with developing technologies and companies to
better fulfill our mission without increasing the budget or adding personnel.”
Computerworld honors technology leaders who improve the performance of
their business or organization. “Every day, these tech-savvy professionals are
positioning their organizations for success by mapping IT projects to strategic
business initiatives,” says Scot Finnie, editor-in-chief. “These 100 men and women
are using their vast experience in managing people and projects to stay a step ahead.”
The Premier 100 IT leaders for 2015 possess a number of common characteristics,
which include: identifying strategic opportunities that IT provides; thinking beyond
short-term tactical needs to long-term strategic goals; tying technology and
innovation to specific business needs and goals; encouraging staff to innovate; and
developing effective partnerships with vendors.
Other recipients include CIOs from organizations such as MasterCard, Intel, NBC,
PayPal, Harvard Graduate School of Education, American Cancer Association,
Verizon, GE Energy, Airbnb, the White House, Colorado Governor’s Office,
Microsoft, UPS and Johns Hopkins.
An early adopter and risk-taker, Sheard has faced numerous IT challenges, such as
stabilizing the college’s technology infrastructure and ending frequent IT outages.
Limited resources forced him to innovate. In 2009, Westmont became one of the first
U.S. schools to build an 802.11n wireless network that provided a high-speed wireless
network over the entire campus. Rather than invest in expensive, wired infrastructure
of Ethernet cables and ports, Sheard chose to strengthen and improve the wireless
network ahead of ratification of 802.11n, making the college a leader in wireless
technology. InfoWorld subsequently recognized Westmont as one of the top 100 U.S.
IT organizations.
Analyzing the cost and challenge of hosting and maintaining servers for email,
the website and digital assets, Sheard decided to move these services to the cloud. The
college community uses popular services such Gmail and created a cloud-based
enterprise storage service with Egnyte. Westmont has completed more than 20 cloudbased
projects without adding budget or staff.
“You have to innovate just enough to solve a real problem or gain an advantage,
but you don’t want to over-innovate and spend time and resources on services that
don’t benefit users,” Sheard says. “This principle has guided our work so we align our
limited resources strategically to serve the college community and our educational
mission.”
Early on, Sheard recognized the growing popularity and importance of smart
phones and tablets. He guided the development of a free native application for the
iPhone and iPod Touch, which included a GPS tracking program for all college
shuttles and easily accessible information about the college and campus events,
including thousands of lectures uploaded to iTunesU. The college also created an iPad
app for the Westmont Magazine. Westmont has moved to make its website fully
mobile-friendly.
In 2010, Sheard worked with librarians to modernize technology in the library to
better serve students. Removing stacks of reference books freed up space on the main
floor for various structured learning spaces: numerous new conference areas,
collaborative learning environments, walking stations with an integrated desk for the
kinesthetic learner, a new open lab area, and a library instruction lab. Seating areas
also feature more than 200 new power-outlet tracks where students can plug in
laptops and other mobile devices.
For seven years, Westmont employees have used Salesforce, which provides those
who are traveling with easy and secure access to important information. One of the
first schools to adopt Salesforce for use in fundraising, the college has become a leader
in this emerging area within higher education.
The magazine eCampus News chose Westmont from nearly 4,500 colleges and
universities as the eCampus of the Month for January 2012, noting that it
“implemented predictive modeling and cloud-computing programs to save money
and spend budgets efficiently, becoming a model for small schools looking for ways to
survive the slumping economy.”
coursework from about 20 books. The professors use the tablets to strengthen and enhance student
learning, and the devices reduce the weight of the course material by 90 percent while lowering the cost
of textbooks to students.
Sheard also serves as vice president for college advancement at Westmont, having led the two largest
fundraising campaigns in school history. Previously, he worked as vice president for technology services
at Spring Arbor University in Michigan for five years. He graduated from the University of Sioux Falls
and earned a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a doctorate in higher education
leadership from Seattle University. Before joining the staff at Spring Arbor, Reed worked at Apple Inc.,
Informix Software, a division of IBM, and as an assistant professor of leadership studies at George Fox
University.

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