2013 Leadership Award Recipient

Brad Wheeler Portrait

Brad Wheeler

For vision in academic models of collaboration; changing the economics of IT in higher education; leadership in advancing best models of open source, research infrastructure, and strategic planning; innovative leveraging of university-wide resources, e-texts initiatives, and virtualization; and outstanding overall leadership in the profession.

Vice President for IT and CIO
Indiana University

Brad Wheeler is a visionary leader whose background in the traditions and values of academe and in the world of business contribute to his skill in creating and leading some of higher education’s most transformative IT-based collaborations and solutions. These are bringing new effectiveness and efficiency at a time of increased demand and deep cuts in support for academe.

Over the past ten years, Brad has established IU as a leader in multi-institution collaborations. He is a co-founder of the Sakai Project, the Kuali Foundation, the HathiTrust, the Digital Preservation Network, and Net+ Services at Internet2. Each of these has refined effective models for institutions and commercial firms to collaborate in new ways that address both the economic and innovation challenges of colleges and universities. Brad’s writings and work with hundreds of institutions helped distinguish the community-source model for pooled institutional investments to create and sustain open-source software. He is the PI or co-PI on over $10 million in foundation grants that helped support well over $50 million of institutional investment in the community-based work.

In 2009, the IU Office of the Vice President for Information Technology (OVPIT) was recognized among the nation’s top 100 organizations by CIO magazine for its leadership in developing open-source software with dozens of colleges, universities, and commercial partners. In 2012, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Brad one of its “12 Tech Innovators Who Are Transforming Campuses,” and the same year he was named a “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers in Public Sector Innovation” by Government Technology.

Brad’s philosophy of “Edge, Leverage, and Trust” has achieved new levels of effective collaboration among IU’s eight campuses and many schools and departments. He leads an IT services culture with a collaborative leadership style that encourages innovation and reasoned risk taking. In 2008, he pioneered Adobe’s first enterprise-wide licensing agreement for all 100,000+ students, faculty, and staff at IU. Since he became vice president in 2007, the IU IT organization has netted $114 million in external contracts and grants, and it has twice been recognized among Computerworld’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT” (in 2010 and 2011).

Concern for the high cost of higher education and its impact on students and their families led Brad to develop IU’s pioneering 2009 eTextbooks initiative, which substantially reduces the costs of textbooks while increasing their effectiveness. All of the largest textbook publishers are now partnered in IU’s eText program, which is fully rolled out and implemented on all IU campuses. Brad and IU were honored with three awards for the eTextbooks initiative.

Brad has been a vigorous contributor to EDUCAUSE since 2004, most recently serving as a member of the EDUCAUSE Board (2009–12) and as its treasurer (2010–11) and vice chair (2012). He is widely published on topics of high importance to the community.

This EDUCAUSE Award is sponsored by Moran Technology Consulting, Silver Partner.