Maryville University has announced the appointment of Feng Hou as its chief digital transformation evangelist, a new position created to lead the university through a digital transformation of the learning and living experience of thousands of Maryville students. Hou will begin his position June 1.
Hou, along with a digital transformation team made up of skilled faculty and staff, will develop a comprehensive digital transformation plan that will help Maryville achieve its strategic goals in the digital transformation age. Hou will help guide the research, analysis and implementation of ideas that will transform the Maryville student experience both on-campus and online.
“With our unprecedented and continuous enrollment growth and our commitment to personalized learning for students, Maryville is positioned to fully use cutting edge digital solutions for efficiency and scalability of processes, as well as utilize new and innovative digital tools to enhance learning,” says President Mark Lombardi, PhD. “Hou’s extensive background in technology in the educational space together with his knowledge and passion for emerging digital technology makes him an ideal fit.”
Hou previously served as chief information officer and chief learning officer at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) in Albuquerque, NM, where he oversaw the office of digital strategies as well as IT operations and CNM’s Online College. Last year, Hou oversaw a blockchain initiative to implement student-owned digital certificate and degree diploma solutions. With this initiative, CNM was the first community college nationwide to use blockchain technology to provide students with digital credentials.
“I am very excited and honored to join Maryville University at a time when higher education is going through fundamental change,” says Hou. “I look forward to working with President Lombardi and his leadership team to leverage digital transformation solutions including the new digital trio: Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Blockchain to achieve our strategic goals and make Maryville University a leading national university.”
Prior to his work at CNM, Hou served as chief information officer for over a decade at State College of Florida in Bradenton, FL. He managed the IT operation and IT strategic initiatives for multiple campuses in support of 40,000 students, faculty and staff. He implemented SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technology to create an online collaborative platform to support the college’s digital transformation.
As an award-winning CIO, Hou is a leading blockchain expert in higher education in the United States. He has vast technical and management expertise, including IT strategic planning and policy development, business process analysis, fit-gap analysis and design thinking, implementation and integration ITIL framework and IT best practices, as well as digital transformation solution integration.
Hou received a BA in English and American Literature from Central China Huashi University in Wuhan. He earned his MS in Business & Instructional Technology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Hou also attended Harvard Institute for Educational Management (IEM-2017) for senior higher education executives.