Johnson sees IT as tool to enhance learning, community connections
Northwestern Health Sciences University has named Chad Johnson as Chief Information Officer, a senior leadership role in which he will oversee all information technology systems and services.
Johnson takes the top IT post at Northwestern after having spent his career in similar leadership roles at higher education institutions. Most recently, he was Director of Information Technology at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, where he helped educators create a program for students to do half of their coursework online.
Before that, he served as Director of Technical Services at St. Paul College and as Assistant Technology Director in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and a Master’s Degree in Science and Software Engineering from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis–Saint Paul.
The melding of creative and technical thinking has been a constant for Johnson throughout his career.
“My goal is to build IT as one of the resources of the entire university,” Johnson said. “It’s more than just infrastructure. With online education and all of the opportunities out there to expand access to learning, IT has an important role in all of it.”
Johnson is the right person to lead Northwestern’s IT department at a time when the university sees technology as part of its longstanding mission to bring education and knowledge about health to the next generation of health-care professionals as well as to the broader community.
“Chad has a vision for technology as a tool to connect people and ideas,” Northwestern President Christopher Cassirer said. “As we work to educate the health-care leaders of tomorrow and bring information about health and wellness to the community, technology will be an important part of our success.”
Throughout his career, Johnson has gravitated to colleges and universities on the move. That was part of the attraction for him in coming to Northwestern.
“It’s a place with a lot of history but a place that is building up—reimagining what it can be and what it will be,” he said. “It’s an exciting place and an exciting time. I want to help Northwestern be the best it can be.”
Northwestern, based in Bloomington, provides world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, nutrition and other health treatments. The university, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2016, has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries.