April 16, 2014

Samuel S. Conn Named Chief Information Officer and Vice President for Integrated Technologies

Conn Possesses Experience in Online Learning, Technology, Public Higher Education, with Nontraditional Students and in the Private Sector

Samuel S. Conn has been named chief information officer and vice president of integrated technologies at SUNY Empire State College. Photo/ Provided by Conn

Samuel S. Conn has been named chief information officer and vice president of integrated technologies at SUNY Empire State College. Photo/ Provided by Conn

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – April 17, 2014) Samuel S. Conn has been named SUNY Empire State College’s chief information officer and vice president for integrated technologies.

“I am very excited that someone with Sam's skills, knowledge and diverse career in technology and higher education is joining SUNY Empire State College,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “As both a scholar and practitioner of nontraditional modes of education, I know Sam will be instrumental in helping us remap and enhance how our students, faculty, staff and alumni engage with information and technology. I am equally confident that Sam will play an integral role in advancing the college’s tradition of innovation and excellence in the liberal arts and open education for the benefit of the state, the communities and the nontraditional students we serve."

As a member of the college’s senior leadership team, Conn will report directly to the president, serve on her cabinet and actively participate in the college’s overall strategic planning process. His appointment follows a national search and he will join the college June 9.

“I am pleased that a person of Sam's caliber will be joining Empire State College,” said Mitchell Nesler, vice president of enrollment management and decision support and chairman of the search committee. “Having the opportunity to review an outstanding pool of applicants and to participate in an extensive interview process, it is clear to me that he is a standout in his field. I also want to express my appreciation to the members of the search committee for all their hard work. I am grateful for their efforts in bringing the process to a successful conclusion.”

Currently, Conn is the vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Southern Polytechnic State University, of the University System of Georgia. Located in Marietta, SPSU offers programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels and its approximately 6,800 traditional and nontraditional students learn online, face to face and through a blend of both.

“It is an exciting and wonderful honor to be chosen to serve the students, faculty and staff of Empire State College as chief Information officer and vice president for integrated technologies,” said Conn. “The college’s unique focus, solid foundation for growth and abundance of talent provide incredible opportunities for continued innovation and advancement. I look forward to engaging with all groups to achieve the college mission.”

In his position as the college’s chief information officer and vice president for integrated technologies, Conn will be responsible for leadership, planning and management in support of the college’s mission through planning, implementation and management of the college’s academic technologies, administrative systems, voice and data communications, IT security systems, project management and training and user support.

He also will play a key leadership role in how technology impacts teaching, learning and the overall organizational success of the college. Conn will lead a staff of 60 people and represent the college on SUNY system governing bodies and initiatives.

About Samuel S. Conn

As the vice president of information technology and chief information officer for SPSU, Conn exercises his strategic management and leadership skills to anticipate new technology and to identify new uses for information. His day-to-day responsibilities include leadership, coordination and management of SPSU’s strategic technology initiatives through its information technology services division.

Prior to joining SPSU, Conn served as the vice president for information technology and online learning at Georgia Military College, where he was recruited to strengthen the technology infrastructure and resources of the college, while simultaneously moving the school into distance education through online learning.

Before Georgia Military College, Conn was director for distance and distributed learning at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). At Virginia Tech, he provided technology and education leadership and management for the institution’s budget, accreditation, faculty development and online curriculum development.

He began his career in higher education at Regis University, a private Jesuit college, as the chief technology officer of its Oracle Virtual Labs and chair of the computer information systems department.

Conn also has extensive private-sector experience, having worked as vice president for technology business development at Vertical Alliance, Inc. and director of information systems for Baxter Healthcare Corporation. He also held technology and leadership positions at Parascript Inc. and InfoBeat Inc., Boulder, Co., and with MBNC, Inc., Denver.

Conn holds a Ph.D. in information systems from Nova Southeastern University, an M.S. in computer information systems from Regis University, a B.S. in business administration from the University of Phoenix and an A.A.S. in electronic technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

The 58-year-old native of Knoxville, Tenn., and his wife, Beverly, will begin looking for a new home in the area in the near future. They have two daughters, Samantha, 31, and Stevie, 27.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average age 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.


Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918


518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)