WMU News

WMU names new vice president for information technology

Sept. 13, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- A computer specialist with a research background in organic chemistry will take charge of Western Michigan University's computing structure as vice president for information technology.

Viji Murali (VEEgee merAHlee), currently director of systems management and user support in the Center for Computer Information Technology at the University of Arizona, will assume her new role on Nov. 1, subject to the approval of the WMU Board of Trustees. Her appointment is the culmination of a national search for an information technology specialist to fill the newly created vice presidential post.

Murali was one of four candidates interviewed on campus for the position in June and July. Her appointment was announced today by WMU President Elson S. Floyd.

"We were looking for the right combination of experience, vision, service orientation and technical skills for this critically important role," Floyd said. "We have found that and more in Viji. She brings a strong technical background to this challenging new role and she also brings a unique sensitivity to the needs and culture of a research university."

Murali, who will serve as the University's chief information officer, will become a member of the president's leadership team and advocate for the development and use of technologies that will help WMU fulfill its teaching, research and service missions. As vice president, Murali will oversee academic and administrative computing, networking systems, distance learning and telecommunications. She also will oversee the final phases of the Y2K readiness plan.

Murali has been in her current position since 1997. She is responsible for management of Arizona's administrative and academic systems as well as its data center and customer support center. Before that, she was manager of systems programming in Arizona's Computing Center for two years. She also worked as a systems programmer in the center and as a research assistant in that university's College of Education.

Murali earned a master's degree in chemistry in 1977 from Osmania University in India and worked toward a doctoral degree in organic chemistry in India before moving to the United States and earning a master's degree in computer science from Arizona in 1987.

Dr. Richard Wright, who has been serving as WMU's interim vice president for information technology, will continue in the post until Murali's arrival on campus.

"Richard has my heartfelt appreciation for the wonderful work he has done over the past several months," said Floyd. "The future of information technology on this campus is on solid footing thanks to his efforts."

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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