Three Employees Promoted

University President Linda Bennett announced the promotion of three administrative staff members at the spring semester faculty meeting Jan. 4.

The changes will go into effect Feb. 1.

President of the USI Foundation David Bower has been promoted to vice president of development while continuing to serve as president of the Foundation.

“I am very grateful for the confidence that (University President) Dr. Bennett has in me,” he said.

Bower said he will meet with Bennett next week to discuss the specifics of his new role and duties.

Bower has been head of the Foundation for the past decade. He began as a special gifts officer with the Foundation 23 years ago.

He said the foundation has grown over the past 10 years under his direction and attributes it to the work done by his staff.

“It’s more about the work than it is about me,” he said. “My hope is that the Foundation will continue to work as a team.”

Executive Director of Planning, Research and Assessment Katherine Draughon was promoted to chief data officer.

Draughon, who is now in her 11th year at the university, said she and Bennett had been talking about wanting to move the university forward with data and data security.

“She is a very data-driven President,” she said. “We are a very data driven, decision making organization.”

Working in secondary education since 1996, Draughon has served as the project director at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the assistant director of the survey research lab at the University of South Carolina.

Draughon said she is currently working on data governance, which is the policies and procedures that both the IT department and the Planning, Research and Assessment department must have in place to make sure data is being used as an asset and that it is secure.

She said that she does a lot of validation, making sure that the data people are accessing is accurate. She said much of her job involves communication between those who are entering data and those who are using it.

“With the promotion of both me and Richard (Toeniskoetter) at the same time, the President is sending out a message that we are very serious about data as an asset here at USI,” she said.

Draughon said the most difficult part of her job is going through all the data and understanding and leveraging it.

“Data drives everything,” she said. “It’s fact-based. There is one truth that comes out of the data.”

Executive director of Information Technology Richard Toeniskoetter has been promoted to chief information officer.

“I am honored to be the first CIO for the University of Southern Indiana,” he said. “It’s an honor to have this position and its very exciting.”

Toeniskoetter said his new position is a continuation of the work they have already been doing. He said the main difference is the CIO is expected to look at strategic initiatives for the campus.

“We are looking at how to move this campus forward and give the students as much capability as we can,” he said.

Toeniskoetter said he is working on modernizing the programs and making them more mobile-friendly.

Toeniskoetter has worked in the IT department for five years since coming over from Northern Arizona University.

He said he has learned a number of ways to manage technology from his past experiences and brought some of those methods with him to put in place.

Toeniskoetter said he has seen significant change since joining the university five years ago and his team has moved to a 24/7 mindset.

“The team has had to take on much more work,” he said. “The team has shifted from being reactive to when things break to being proactive and putting new services out that benefit everybody.”

Toeniskoetter said the university is becoming a stronger, larger university on par with the other state schools.

“What I see for the university with these three promotions is that this is the continued elevation of the university,” he said. “They elevate USI to be on the same level with our other state institutions and I think that’s a positive for the university.