VP/chief information officer on cover of technology magazine

December 20, 2016 | Features, News, UToday
By Christine Billau

Bill McCreary’s unorthodox road to the top information and technology post at The University of Toledo and his leadership on campus spanning from administrative support to virtual reality is featured on the front page of Toggle Magazine.

Toggle is a quarterly journal for technology executives highlighting the vital role that technology plays in companies and organizations.

toggleThe story about McCreary, who oversees all information technology, hospital systems and academic technology needs at UT as vice president and chief information and technology officer, is titled “Bringing Private Sector IT Expertise to the Academic Realm.”

Before arriving at UT in 2012 to pursue a PhD in artificial intelligence related to simulation and game design, McCreary retired from a 45-year career in the private sector.

“I came here as a student, not a c-level executive,” McCreary told Toggle. “The retirement plan was to do my PhD work, but after I was here about a year, the University discovered me and asked me to get involved.”

McCreary came out of retirement to work as chief technology officer, and in 2015 he absorbed the responsibilities of chief information officer to fill a vacancy.

McCreary told the magazine that his typical work day at UT leading a team of more than 300 people includes anything from product pricing and network router changes to game development, augmented reality and the management of cadaveric specimens.

The magazine touts the consolidation of all of those tasks under one manager as a way to maximize the institution’s overall IT efficiency.

Efforts to commercialize the classroom were a major focus of the feature story as McCreary oversees the Center for Creative Instruction, the Advanced Simulation and Gaming Studio, and the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center.

According to the magazine, the merger of the groups enables the Division of Technology and Advanced Solution “to build leading edge interactive simulations and gamified products that deploy on the web, 3D/VIR and head mounted displays using augmented as well as virtual reality.”

Toggle shines the spotlight on the revenue-generating possibilities of UT’s products and services that pursue academic goals, such as business, sales and medical training software like the Manufacturing Simulation Game, a first-person, video game-like perspective to help train workers in a manufacturing plant, or the Salesworld family of games that allow students to gain simulated sales leadership experience.

“It’s configurable so you can grow different types of sales people with different personality traits,” McCreary told Toggle. “Students play six games throughout their academic careers and then when they graduate they’ll have a resumé that complements their internships in the real world by launching them into tough situations that would take years to experience.”

McCreary told Toggle, “I have not found anybody who has a job quite like this at the university level.”

Click here to read the full story in Toggle Magazine.

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