MIDDLETOWN – SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young announces the hiring of Michael A. Tharp as the College’s Chief Information Officer. Tharp will begin in his new role on Monday, Sept. 11.
At SUNY Orange, Tharp will serve as a member of the president’s Cabinet and have oversight of the day-to-day operations of the College’s Information Technology Services department, which includes the areas of information systems, network infrastructure and user support.
“Over the past 16 months, we have significantly transformed our IT infrastructure through a series of wide-ranging projects that we otherwise would not have been able to accomplish if it weren’t for the generous support of Orange County and New York State,” Young said. “We owe it to our students, faculty and staff, as well as the county and the state, to ensure that we leverage these upgraded technology resources to their fullest.
“Michael Tharp has the ability and experience to guide us forward in those endeavors, and I expect that his steady leadership will assure that we maintain an innovative teaching and learning environment for students and faculty, and a productive support environment for staff and administrators,” Young added.
Tharp possesses more than 25 years of technology administration experience within the higher education sector, having spent time at a small state-operated university and at a large urban university. Most recently, he served as the CIO at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa., from October 2014 to June 2016. Prior to that, he held various roles of ascending leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., from July 1988 through October 2014).
While at Mansfield, Tharp oversaw and managed all campus technology and technology projects, directing a staff of 14. He coordinated upgrades to Mansfield’s wireless network, expanded bandwidth for the network, improved network security, revamped the IT help desk and redesigned the university’s data center.
At VCU, Tharp first joined the staff as a computer systems engineer in the university’s School of Business, holding that role for two years before being promoted to director of technology services and training for the School of Business. For two-plus decades, he supervised the school’s information technology program and directed instructional support resources, including computer laboratories and classroom technology. He participated in the design and implementation of all information technology installed in Snead Hall, a 145,000-square-foot, four-story classroom and laboratory building that opened at VCU in 2008. Among VCU’s more than 31,000 students are more than 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students within the School of Business.
In addition, Tharp served as an adjunct instructor in the School of Business at VCU, teaching a variety of courses including Fundamentals of Data Communications, Mathematical Applications for Business, Telecommunications and Distributed Data Processing, Computer Hardware and Software, Management Information Systems, and Internetworking and TCP/IP.
Tharp earned both his bachelor’s degree in business and master’s degree in business administration from VCU. He and his wife Cindy are the proud parents of two children, both of whom reside in Richmond.