Vice president of IT to leave WKU, takes position at another university

Herald Staff

Another vice president is leaving WKU.

Bob Owen, vice president of Information Technology, will leave WKU on July 31, according to WKU News. Owen was named Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Technology and Information Services of Santa Clara University on Monday.

Owen has worked for WKU for five years.

In his new position, Owen will use technology to “support student learning, enhance faculty teaching and research, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s operations,” according to a SCU press release.

Owen will be responsible for a staff of 107 and manage a $20 million annual budget.

Owen said the location of his work fits perfectly with his new position.

“There’s basically no better place you could possibly work than…in the heart of Silicon Valley,” he said.

Owen said a main goal of his will be to assist SCU in reinforcing and establishing relationships with high-tech companies in the area. 

Gordon Johnson, associate vice president of Information Technology, will serve as the interim vice president until a replacement is found, according to WKU News.

Owen said he began looking for another job a year ago because his wife, Lisa, received orders from her doctor to leave the area due to her allergies and asthma.

Owen said he did not apply to SCU, but was contacted by a recruiter last December. He was offered the position on May 9.

Bob Skipper, director of Media Relations at WKU, said Owen turned in his resignation letter on May 16. There is currently no timetable on when the replacement will be found.

Owen said the departure will be bittersweet.

“It’s been an absolute privilege and honor to have been the vice president for the staff in my division,” Owen said. “They are by far the finest group of professionals I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with. …It’s been a great time here and I’m going to be sad to leave.”

This marks the second departure of a vice president this year. The first was John Osborne, former vice president of Campus Services and Facilities, who retired after commencement.