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Melissa Bauer '86 named Baldwin Wallace CIO

BW turned to an alumna and longtime BW Information Technology leader to fill the chief information officer role.

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Baldwin Wallace University found a new chief information officer (CIO) already on campus in the IT department.

Melissa Bauer '86 stepped into the role following the 2023 promotion of former CIO Greg Flanik to VP of Operations.

In her new role, she leads a department focused on developing and implementing information technology initiatives that improve service quality, increase cost effectiveness and support business development.

Reluctant IT recruit

As Bauer tells it, she was assigned a work-study job in the computer center when she arrived on campus as an undergraduate student in 1982. Less than thrilled with the placement, Bauer visited financial aid to see if she could find something different. 

"All jobs had been assigned, but they told me to come back in three weeks, and they would see what was available then," Bauer recalls. "I never did go back as I loved the people in the computer center and decided to stay." 

In the 40 years since, the business management graduate has worked in various BW IT roles and been promoted six times, including this latest assignment atop the department that sparked initial indifference as a first-year student.

National career recognition

In 2017, Bauer's contributions to her profession earned a national Hall of Fame award from the Special Interest Group on University and College Computing Services (SIGUCCS), a "community of IT professionals from helpdesk employees to CIOs who help higher education institutions leverage current technology to foster discovery and learning."

That recognition was followed by the SIGUCCS "Penny Crane Award for Distinguished Service" in 2022. SIGUCCS is one of 37 Special Interest Groups of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.

In addition to serving that organization in a variety of roles, Bauer also supported the Berea City Schools during a two-year stint on the district's technology advisory committee.

Leading BW into the future

"Melissa is the right person, at the right time, given where BW is in its history, to continue building on the technology foundation that has helped BW navigate through the pandemic," said Flanik, who appointed Bauer as CIO. "Her impact on BW is already significant as she transitioned us to a new electronic document management and workflow platform, which has seen widespread adoption across campus."

"Currently, she is collaborating with the new finance team to implement improvements in our procurement and finance systems and establish better controls," Flanik adds. "These enhancements will continue to make BW a more efficient operation, enhance the student experience, and provide campus leaders with the data and information necessary to make strategic decisions about the University now and in the future."

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