Veteran I.T. professional to lead West Virginia Network

Dr. Powell

Dr. Carl Powell brings more than 30 years of higher education experience to the state’s educational technology agency
Dr. PowellMORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Network (WVNET) has selected Dr. Carl Powell to serve as its next director. Powell most recently was an independent technology and management consultant and the chief information officer for the Columbus, Ohio, Metropolitan library.

Since 2000, Powell has served as vice president and chief information officer at universities in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio. His experience overseeing large higher education I.T. organizations and his ability to understand customer and student needs and the importance of expanded high-speed broadband access make him a good match for WVNET and the state’s higher education technology needs, said Dr. Sarah Tucker, interim chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Powell to West Virginia and look forward to his leadership in this critical need area of our state,” Tucker said. “From saving money through shared technology services, to increasing access to online classes to helping our state improve rural broadband internet access, I’m confident Carl will be a tremendous asset for all of our schools and communities.”

As director, Powell will oversee a staff of 55 information technology and higher education professionals and a statewide communications network, providing Internet access, database and information technology support to the West Virginia’s public schools, colleges and universities, libraries, courts, county government and other government organizations. WVNET operates college online learning and administration back-office services and support systems, such as Blackboard and Banner.

WVNET also hosts West Virginia’s Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System’s (WVROCKS) online portal for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. WVROCKS is a unique online learning platform that allows college students from across the state to enroll in courses that count for credit at their home institution, but that may be taught by shared faculty from multiple campuses. This online course program ensures students have greater access to the courses they need to complete their degrees on time.

“I am honored to be joining the team at WVNET.  They are an exceptional group of talented individuals focused on the future vitality of West Virginia,” says Powell.  “I look forward to working with this dedicated team to provide the technology services and support that our universities, colleges, and K-12 schools need for today’s challenges and for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Powell has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in computer science from Kent State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Cleveland State University. In addition to his work in public education and private sector consulting, Powell has served as a reserve police patrol officer and an emergency medical technician.

The West Virginia Network was founded in 1975 in its current location near the WVU campus in Morgantown to provide networking services between the state’s universities. It is one of the nation’s oldest research and education networks and today is a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission that continues its original mission to provide high-quality, low-cost academic research and technology services. For more information, visit