U’s top

David Hyland

The man vested with leading the University’s Internet 2 and Virtual University initiatives announced his resignation Friday to accept a similar post at the University of Maryland.
Don Riley, associate vice president and chief information officer, will leave the University at the end of this month and start his new job May 15.
“Just because of his vision and his expertise, I definitely think it is our loss,” said Mary Ryan, Riley’s executive assistant.
While leading the information technology office, Riley directed the construction of the Virtual University program, establishing a “front door” on the Internet to higher education in Minnesota. He also chaired the board of trustees for Educom, a national consortium of colleges seeking better use of information resources.
Most recently, he supervised the launching of the Internet 2 project, a high-speed alternative to the World Wide Web.
“In the things I’ve done here, we’ve tried to embody what a flagship land-grant university should be,” Riley said. “I want to do the same sort of things at Maryland.”
Tom Barron, manager of the network design group for the University’s Network and Telecommunications Service, worked with Riley to establish the University’s connections to Internet 2.
While crediting Riley with putting forth a “tremendous foundation” for Internet 2, Barron said the University will press forward without him.
Riley said there was no specific reasons for leaving; rather he saw the promise of a new opportunity. He will be the University of Maryland’s first chief information officer. When officials at Maryland approached him with the job in December, he applied.
“I’ve taken the attitude that when it’s time to leave, the right kind of job will present itself,” Riley said. “This seems like a perfect fit.”
Riley began his 21 years at the University in the mechanical engineering department before working his way to become acting chief information officer in October 1995. His appointment became permanent in June 1997.
Bob Bruininks, University executive vice president and provost, will form a transition plan and search for a replacement.
Ryan said she has heard a few names mentioned, but she declined to identify potential successors.
“They’ll have a tough time filling his shoes,” Ryan said.