J. Michael Barker was selected as UNC-Chapel Hill’s Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, effective February 1.

Barker served as Interim Vice Chancellor for one year — from January 2019 through January 31, 2020. He has served ITS since 2009.

Michael Barker
J. Michael Barker

Barker is “a dynamic leader who understands the academic, research and administrative technology needs of our campus and the fast-changing world of information technology,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert Blouin wrote in their January 31 announcement to campus.

As interim and now in his permanent role, Barker is responsible for Carolina’s central IT portfolio.

Proven ability

“He has proven his ability to recognize evolving challenges and provide long-term direction for the development and implementation of information technology initiatives at Carolina,” Guskiewicz and Blouin said. “As a vice chancellor and member of the Chancellor and Provost’s leadership cabinets, he will have a central role in implementing ITS initiatives and objectives in Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, the University’s strategic plan.”

Prior to his current role, Barker served as Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Technology Officer for ITS. In his role as Associate Vice Chancellor, Barker had oversight over Learning Technologies, including Sakai, CCI Printing and Classroom Hotline, as well as Research Computing, encompassing high-performance and high-throughput scientific computing services.

Under Barker’s leadership, “the impact of the Research Computing group multiplied, giving researchers access to innovative and emerging technologies required to power their work, most recently through the introduction of a cloud strategy that makes industry-leading providers readily available,” Guskiewicz and Blouin said.

As Chief Technology Officer, Barker identified and advanced strategic information technology initiatives that position Carolina to have enabling technologies both for current and emerging needs.

Excellent insight

During his decade at Carolina, Barker has had responsibility for a broad array of the central IT portfolio, giving him excellent insight into the needs of the organization for his tenure as interim. Barker served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Computing and Learning Technologies from 2013 to 2017, and as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure & Operations and Communication Technologies from 2009 to 2013.

Before coming to Carolina, Barker served in a variety of IT leadership roles at Florida State University.

Stays active in philosophy

Barker earned his doctoral degree in philosophy at Florida State University in 1998. He continues to stay active in his discipline. He also serves as Clinical Professor of Information Science at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Sciences.

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