Tiger family welcomes Dr. Joy Hatch, who will help solidify FHSU's competitive advantage in technology

Dr. Joy Hatch, who most recently was the vice chancellor of information technology services for the Virginia Community College System, has accepted the newly created position of vice president for technology at Fort Hays State University. She begins her duties in Hays on Monday.

Virginia's Community Colleges are 23 individual schools located on 40 campuses across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Together, the colleges enroll more than two-thirds of the total public undergraduate population in Virginia, making it the largest educational institution in the commonwealth.

Hatch said her decision to leave Virginia was "all about the students."

She explained: "With more than 400,000 students, there is a very large technology infrastructure to support the Virginia Community College System, so the challenges of maintaining that system were phenomenal and enjoyable but did not involve contact with students. In contrast, Fort Hays State has a contagious spirit and passion for students, along with an enthusiasm and excitement for the work done. As the region's leading forward-thinking, entrepreneurial university, Fort Hays State is in a unique position to educate students for jobs in a global environment, and I know technology can be a major partner in these efforts. I am excited about the opportunities ahead to make a difference for students and to contribute what Fort Hays State needs to reach its strategic goals through technology."

She is not a stranger to Kansas. From 1997 to 2001, she was chief information officer at Friends University in Wichita. At Friends, she conducted strategic planning for the use of technology and its effect on campus. She led the campus through implementation of an ERP, or enterprise resource planning software system. An ERP allows a university to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many activities and provides an integrated view of core data processes.

Fort Hays State is about to implement an ERP.

"Dr. Hatch will help as we move to a Workday ERP system," said Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU president. "She has tremendous expertise in the ERP area, which we can use at this point."

The president said she was happy to welcome Dr. Hatch to the Tiger family. "Our ability to attract leaders such as Dr. Hatch highlights the caliber of our institution and of our people. This is a great coup for Fort Hays State, considering that she used to run the IT system for all the community colleges in Virginia, which is the largest IT system in the world. In addition to working with students, she was attracted to FHSU by the work ethic of our people and by the opportunity to be part of our new beginnings. I'm thankful she decided to make Fort Hays State her destination of choice!"

Martin took the reins as the ninth FHSU president last July, and she has launched a "re-engineering" initiative to examine operations at the university and make changes that will guarantee even better stewardship of state funds entrusted by the Legislature and create a new architecture for responding to emerging educational needs that will stimulate growth and prosperity for Kansans. She said the hiring of Dr. Hatch as vice president for technology would likely in some way lead to a fourth division in FHSU's organizational structure as the re-engineering process continues over the next several months.

Dr. Hatch becomes the fourth vice president, joining Mike Barnett, who leads the Division of Administration and Finance, Dr. Joey Linn, interim leader of the Division of Student Affairs, and Dr. Chris Crawford, interim leader of the Division of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Hatch said she expects to feel at home immediately on the Hays campus. "In the community colleges, I found a mission that was phenomenal and really provided an 'on ramp' to education for many. In addition, many community colleges are truly part of the community in which they are located. It is this type of environment that I noticed at FHSU and which also attracted me to the position."

She earned a Ph.D. in Information Systems in April 1998 at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; an M.B.A. in May 2000 at Friends University, Wichita; a master's in information systems in December 1994, also at Friends; and a bachelor's in commercial design in May 1983 at Barton College, Wilson, N.C.

She has had a variety of professional experiences, which included working as chief flight instructor and a charter pilot for Yingling Aircraft in Wichita from 1993 to 1997 and teaching computer classes in the Wichita Public School System from 1990 to 1998. She has also been active in leadership positions in the communities where she has lived, and she has published widely.

"I learned how to fly and also became a flight instructor, worked at Friends University and also have two degrees from Friends," Dr. Hatch said. "I learned just recently that the president of Yingling Aircraft when I worked there, Jack Feiden, is an FHSU alum and that he contacted President Martin last fall when he saw my name in her Inauguration program. It's a small world."

Dr. Hatch emphasized that she was excited to be joining the Tiger family and was looking forward to working with everyone. "I am passionate about technology and what technology can do, both in our personal and professional lives," she said. "The new position will bring about change, but we are building on a strong team and some wonderful initiatives that have already been done."

President Martin echoed those words. "I want the entire Tiger community to know that her hire will only solidify the importance of technology for our university," she said. "We have been at the helm of innovation. For us to remain there, our technology must be at the cusp of innovation as well. Having someone who is constantly dedicated to looking after changes, implementing, guiding, developing and advocating on behalf of technology, will be key to our success."

Dr. Melissa Husicker Walburn, chair of the Department of Informatics, led the search committee that recommended Dr. Hatch. "The committee was pleased to have a pool of well-qualified candidates with unique attributes and with high interest in what we're doing here at Fort Hays State," she said. "This position will be an integral part in Fort Hays State's development. On behalf of the committee, we appreciated the interest, participation and feedback of the faculty, staff and students who were able to engage with the candidates who came to campus."

In addition to Walburn, the search committee members were Ed Howell, director of University Police; Dr. Cynthia Garrety, coordinator of the Learning Commons in Forsyth Library; Derek Johnson, network administrator in the Computing and Telecommunications Center; Jackie Ruder, manager of new development in CTC; Dennis King, director of the Virtual College; and Craig Karlin, interim registrar.

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