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NMSU names permanent chief information officer for system

  • By Minerva Baumann
  • mbauma46@nmsu.edu
  • Mar 09, 2022
Head and shoulders of a man
Head and shoulders of a man

After a nationwide search Thomas E. Bunton has been named New Mexico State University’s new associate vice president and chief information officer. Bunton comes to NMSU from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where he is currently the associate vice chancellor and chief information officer. He will begin his new role in mid-April.

“I’m extremely excited about the role NMSU plays in New Mexico and its broad mission of education, research, and extension,” Bunton said. “The campus is positioned perfectly to make a tremendous positive impact on the state and region.”

Bunton has more than 20 years of experience in information technology and has held various leadership positions at University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and Purdue University prior to his position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he began as director of technology and infrastructure operations and within two years was promoted to associate vice chancellor and chief operations officer position where he is responsible for the strategic vision and leadership of information technology initiatives for the university.

Sherry Kollmann, vice provost for digital learning initiatives, chaired the 12-person search committee that began in September with the assistance of a professional firm, which identified candidates for the committee to review through the next few months.

“From the very beginning, the committee had a strong sense of the type of candidate that was needed here at NMSU,” Kollmann said. “Through this shared vision, the conversations at every milestone were productive and meaningful as the entire committee was striving for the same end result.” 

Bunton sees information technology and data becoming more integrated with universities’ missions as it has become among highly competitive industries.

“Community access and level of seamless experience will be the strategic differentiator between higher education organizations,” Bunton said. “As technologists and educators, we need to make certain any barriers to technology, commonly referred to as the digital divide, doesn’t provide significant obstacles to access or success.”

Bunton earned a doctorate in organizational communication from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He earned a master of science degree in computer and information technology as well as his bachelor’s degree with a double major in pre-law and psychology from Purdue University. 

“Thomas Bunton is the kind of dynamic leader who can take our information technology enterprise in the NMSU system to a new level,” said NMSU Vice Chancellor Ruth Johnston. “I want to thank Sherry Kollmann and her committee for their months of work on this search. We’re fortunate to be able to recruit such a talented individual to this critical position and we look forward to welcoming him to our campus and the Las Cruces community.

Bunton says he and his wife Lisa are looking forward to moving to New Mexico. “The passion and excitement I witnessed from the campus community including the IT professionals has been beyond incredible.”