Brandon Bernier named VP of Information Technology at CSU

Brandon Bernier, CSU

CSU’s Brandon Bernier has been named the new Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer for the University.

Brandon Bernier, the former director of Academic Computing & Networking Services and Telecommunications, has a new role at Colorado State University: Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.

Bernier, who had been serving as CSU’s interim assistant vice president of IT since October, is expanding his responsibilities in a permanent role. He also will continue to serve on the Executive Leadership Team, which advises President Joyce McConnell.

As VP of information technology, Bernier will lead the departments of ACNS, Telecommunications and Information Systems in a new, combined Division of IT, responsible for strategy, policy and governance to provide services across the Fort Collins campus. He also will look to forge partnerships and promote efficiencies across the CSU System.

With information technology touching every aspect of CSU’s mission, McConnell said Bernier’s leadership and vision has helped CSU respond to the many challenges – both short-term and long-term.

“Brandon has been engaged in our discussions about equity here on campus, and when the time came to move our teaching and learning operations online, he and his team stepped up to help make the transition and protect our community from emerging threats to our information systems,” McConnell said. “We are fortunate to have a dedicated IT team and leader supporting our teaching, research and outreach.”

Preparing for fall semester

In his new role, Bernier said the division is currently focusing on teaching and learning support through technology to ensure a successful fall semester.

In May, McConnell announced that CSU will offer face-to-face instruction on campus this fall, with reduced density in learning environments. Additionally, the University will facilitate remote learning for those who will need it and create hybrid classes as needed to incorporate online learning.

“This is one of the most strategic things that we will do, and we have to ensure it’s successful,” he said. “We’re working really very closely with CSU Online, TILT, our Teaching Continuity group, and others to ensure a great experience for our students and faculty this fall. We’re excited that we’ll be doubling our lecture capture environment as well as providing mobile lecture capture options. We’re also working closely through our partnerships to ensure that Canvas works in a way that provides great support for our faculty and students.”

“We’re excited that we’ll be doubling our lecture capture environment as well as providing mobile lecture capture options.”

— Brandon Bernier, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Bernier added that communication this fall will be critical through CSU’s Keep Teaching and Keep Learning websites, which provide important resources for in-person and remote instruction and learning.

CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda said Bernier has shown exceptional leadership in his roles as director of ACNS and interim AVP of IT in supporting the University’s learning environment.

“I have every confidence that he will be an outstanding University leader in the coming years and will assist us in driving our IT environment forward in increasingly interesting and challenging times,”  Miranda said.

Fostering collaboration

Bernier said work on combining ACNS, Telecommunications and Information Systems into the new Division of IT started in January, with initiatives designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness as well as the sharing of best practices as a way of unifying the departments.

“These new initiatives have brought together leaders and team members from multiple departments and has led to the creation of a number of cross-functional teams,” he said. “It’s a great way of bringing together diverse opinions and perspectives.”

When Bernier arrived at CSU as director ACNS and Telecommunications in 2018, he said he was impressed with the collaborative campus environment. With the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he has seen it taken to another level.

“During times of crisis your strengths tend to really rise to the top,” said Bernier, who previously had served in IT leadership roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Bernier said there have been new partnerships with CSU Online, central IT and TILT as well as existing partnerships with distributed IT leaders that have been strengthened and new teams that have been formed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, Bernier said he’s looking forward to the future and starting the next chapter in IT at CSU.

“I’m really looking forward to the bright future that we’re all going to have at CSU,” he said. “There are a lot of reasons to be positive. As a campus IT community, we’re going to do great things for the future, and we’re really going to help play a critical role in advancing the missions of CSU.”