Scott Midkiff to step down following nearly 11 years as vice president and CIO
Scott F. Midkiff has announced he will step down from his role as vice president for information technology and chief information officer and return to the faculty in the College of Engineering.
Midkiff was appointed to the vice president position in October 2012. During his tenure, he strategically implemented the division’s goals and provided the vision for information technology to support and advance the university’s three-part mission of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement. Under Midkiff’s leadership, Virginia Tech has remained at the forefront of innovation in network and computer security and continued its reputation as a pioneer in information technology.
“Virginia Tech’s Division of IT has done important work under Scott’s leadership, including the rapid transition to virtual learning and working environments that made it possible for the university to continue our education, research, and engagement missions during the pandemic,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “We appreciate his contributions to the strength and resilience of our IT infrastructure and wish him the very best in his faculty role."
From the onset, Midkiff focused on the linkage between information technology and the teaching and learning environment and sought new ways to apply technology to this central and vital component of the university’s mission. Noted for his strategic thinking, partnership building, and commitment to continuous improvement, he has overseen advances that have provided a solid foundation for the university as it navigates the ever-changing landscape of information technology.
“The Division of IT has worked collaboratively across the university and beyond to advance teaching and learning and research and innovation,” said Midkiff. “We have invested in high-performance computing, training, and support to provide a competitive advantage to our research community. We worked to leverage technology to improve the experience of students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community; we advanced IT services to increase enterprise effectiveness; and we continue to improve our resistance to cyber threats.”
The Division of IT supports the Virginia Tech community through a host of IT services, including providing the infrastructure for teaching and learning.
The division was the longtime home of Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS), which offers a broad range of services to support technology-enhanced learning, including course design consultations, program development partnerships, instructional design and media production, software selection and integration assistance, accessibility and universal design for learning services, and professional development offerings to strengthen faculty digital fluency. TLOS is now a unit in the provost’s office, where it continues to employ online and flexible learning strategies across the university.
Midkiff sees high performance computing as fundamental and essential to the research endeavor. Advanced Research Computing (ARC), a unit within the division, provides centralized research computing infrastructure and support for the Virginia Tech research community. ARC's resources include high-performance computing systems, large-scale data storage, visualization facilities, software, and consulting services – all of which are available to faculty and students across all disciplines.
The division also is home to the Virginia Cyber Range, which provides resources for cybersecurity education for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities. The Virginia Cyber Range is operated by Virginia Tech and led by an executive committee representing 19 community colleges and universities within Virginia that are nationally recognized centers of academic excellence in cybersecurity. Tens of thousands of educators and students in more than 300 high schools, community colleges, and universities across the commonwealth use the Virginia Cyber Range courseware and cloud-hosted exercise environment for hands-on cybersecurity training for students.
In 2021, Midkiff was named Capital CIO of the Year, earning an “ORBIE” Award for his excellence in leadership and innovation in information technology. The division, which included TLOS, played a critical role to the university successfully navigating the challenges to instruction and research during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Midkiff praised the hard work and dedication of the division’s employees and viewed the award as a reflection of their commitment to providing Virginia Tech with the best possible technology services, especially while facing extraordinary challenges.
Midkiff arrived at Virginia Tech in 1986 and served as a professor in the College of Engineering. He developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in networking, wireless networks and mobile systems, network applications, and telecommunications. He was appointed head of the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2009.
He is the author of more than 125 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. He received Virginia Tech’s XCaliber Award for teaching with technology in 2004 and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Engineering in 2005.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Virginia Tech as its CIO and to have had an opportunity to align work in the Division of IT to teaching and learning, research and innovation, and supporting others that support the university’s mission,” said Midkiff. “I look forward to my return to the faculty and to find new ways to contribute to the university and our students.”
Midkiff will return as a faculty member in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the fall.
“Scott has been the catalyst for continued growth and success in the Division of IT. The university community is grateful for his many contributions and support of Virginia Tech’s mission,” said Amy Sebring, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech will launch a search to fill this critical role. Lynsay Belshe, vice president for enterprise administrative and business services at Virginia Tech, will chair the search committee for the next vice president and chief information officer. Midkiff will continue leading the Division of IT until the position is filled.