(BLOOMINGTON) – Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has announced that Brad Wheeler will be retiring from his administrative roles and returning to the faculty in the IU Kelley School of Business, which he joined in 1996. Wheeler is IU’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer and vice president for communications and marketing.
“I want to thank Brad Wheeler for nearly 20 years of outstanding service to Indiana University in his various administrative roles,” McRobbie said. “For 13 years he has led the development of information technology at IU with great skill and energy and has become recognized as one of the finest CIOs in the country. In this role, he continued to establish IU as one of the leading public research universities in the country for the uses and applications of IT. I was also very grateful that he was willing to step forward in 2018 to serve concurrently as vice president for communications and marketing. IU owes him a great debt of gratitude for all of his meritorious services and contributions to the university.”
McRobbie also announced that Wheeler will be succeeded by Karen Ferguson Fuson as vice president for communications and marketing and Rob Lowden as vice president for information technology and chief information officer. Each appointment is subject to the approval of the IU Board of Trustees. If approved, Ferguson will begin serving as vice president on July 6 and Lowden on Aug. 3.
“Indiana University is extremely fortunate to have two such enormously talented individuals able to step immediately into each of Brad’s two roles,” McRobbie said. “This will ensure we do not miss a beat at such a crucial time when the university is dealing with the uncertainty and disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and with the important diversity issues highlighted nationally in recent weeks. These will require highly effective communications and marketing, as well as a bedrock of excellent IT for teaching and research.”
Ferguson Fuson has served as associate vice president for marketing and digital strategy and as IU’s chief marketing officer since 2018. She helped lead a broad reorganization of IU’s communications and marketing efforts into the IU Studios and grew IU’s marketing research capabilities.
She came to IU following a 25-year career in journalism and media that started in Gary, Indiana. She formerly served in senior positions in the media industry, including as the president and publisher of The Indianapolis Star and West Group president for the Gannett/USA Today Network. In 2018, she was inducted into Northwestern University’s highly ranked Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement for the positive impact of her leadership in media.
“I feel fortunate to be working at an incredible institution with such passionate people at this point in history,” Ferguson Fuson said. “IU’s work on critical health issues and leading anti-racism discussions and solutions have never been more important, and we have never been more committed to making a positive impact in our state and our country.”
Lowden is a native Hoosier and a Navy veteran who developed a 20-year career with increasing responsibilities for IT at IU. He currently serves as the executive associate dean and chief information officer for the IU School of Medicine and concurrently as associate vice president for health technology services reporting to Wheeler.
Over his career, Lowden has had many universitywide responsibilities for IT services for all IU campuses, including roles for teaching and learning systems, the IU data centers, administrative systems, data and analytics, and many multi-university partnerships. From 2016 to 2017, he also served as the interim CEO for the Unizin Consortium of 14 universities that is based in Austin, Texas.
“Recent events have again affirmed the critical role for universities in our core mission of research and education,” Lowden said. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue the outstanding IT leadership that has characterized IU for over two decades.”
“I am thrilled that Karen and Rob will be taking these critical roles for which they are each so eminently prepared to provide continuity and acceleration for IU,” Wheeler said. “They are doing so at the beginning of an exciting new decade in the enormous public mission of the university.
“It has been my great honor to be part of IU’s tremendous 25-year legacy of IT leadership, and after over 19 years of various administrative roles, I am very much looking forward to my long-planned resumption of professorial teaching and research responsibilities at the Kelley School.”
Additionally, Anastasia “Stacy” Morrone, professor of educational psychology at the schools of education on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, has been appointed deputy CIO, reporting to the vice president for information technology and CIO effective Aug. 3. Morrone, who has also served as associate vice president for learning technologies since 2007, is on the cabinets of the IU Bloomington provost and the IUPUI chancellor.
Board of Trustees tributes
Brad Wheeler was recognized with a retirement tribute during the June 12 meeting of the IU Board of Trustees, alongside athletic director Fred Glass and IU Northwest Chancellor William Lowe.