U. Central Florida hires Matthew Hall, CIO from UC Santa Barbara

The University of Central Florida on Tuesday named information technology expert Matthew Hall as vice president for information technology and chief information officer.

Hall, who is set to begin his new position on Feb. 5, will bring to UCF’s IT department his experience working with other higher education institutions and tech companies. At UCF, he’s tasked with helping the university implement new and innovative technology that can improve student learning and business operations, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs Michael Johnson said in a press release.

“His ability to help us find opportunities for digital innovation is a key to our future success,” Johnson said.

(University of Central Florida)

Hall joins UCF from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he worked as CIO, overseeing IT and cybersecurity operations. At UCSB, Hall developed the university’s first IT strategy and helped consolidate IT operations, including standardizing email and collaboration.

He has also held IT leadership positions at Koch Industries International, Microsoft, Bank of America, Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

As CIO at UCF, Hall will report to the provost and serve as a key member of the senior leadership team to create a strategic vision for the institution’s information technology infrastructure, assets and services. He will also work with faculty, staff members and university leaders to support research and instruction, while also improving administrative systems and business processes, according to the university.

Hall beat out two others who were considered for the position, including Cathleen Curley, CIO of the University of Michigan, and Fred Sudler, associate chief information officer at Michigan State University.

Hall replaces Joel Hartman, who served as vice president for information technologies and resources and chief information officer for 25 years before retiring last July. Michael Sink, the university’s deputy CIO has been serving as an interim replacement.

Hall’s appointment comes amid a pandemic that has forced many universities to prioritize educational technology and IT services for students, faculty and staff. University IT leaders have been increasingly important during the health crisis, ensuring classes can continue online and preparing faculty and students for remote learning.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many universities to invest in new technology and scale up the use of existing technology, like learning management and video conferencing software. They’ve searched for ways to keep students and faculty safe and ensure students have continued access to their educations, a process that continues to evolve into 2021.