Earving L. Blythe, vice president emeritus for information technology and former chief information officer at Virginia Tech, will receive the 2012 Leadership Award from EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education, at its annual national conference in November.

Blythe was recognized for his achievements and his significant and positive impact on advancing the theory and practice of information technology in higher education. In presenting the award, EDUCAUSE notes, “Earving Blythe has been one of the foremost leaders in higher education information technology, influencing change and new directions in the application of networking technology in higher education.”

A unifying theme for Blythe’s accomplishments is his leadership across the interlocking systems of technical, financial, professional, social, and political processes that brought about a fundamental change in how colleges and universities use communications. He has played a central role in the proliferation of modern broadband networking by coordinating and educating the stakeholders at the university as well as in his profession, in state and local governments, and in industry about the fundamental, qualitative advantages of a new style of networking.

Blythe was closely involved in the critical movement toward community-owned, facilities-based networks of regional and national scale. He also made strong contributions through white papers, conferences, and visits to Capitol Hill and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that had significant impact on national policies and programs such as the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, the U.S. Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, and the proper consideration of scope and methods with regard to copyright issues and lawful surveillance on campus networks.

“Earving Blythe has repeatedly demonstrated a rare combination of brilliant creativity and pragmatic leadership to drive a long series of groundbreaking initiatives at Virginia Tech,” says EDUCAUSE. These initiatives include network infrastructure and services; the Faculty Development Institute; the Virginia Education and Research Network; the renowned Blacksburg Electronic Village; NetworkVirginia; client-server migration of Virginia Tech’s administrative systems to an enterprise-wide, client-server–based resource; System X high performance computing; eCorridors; and the VT Technology Services and Operations Corporation.

He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development, and knowledge creation. The association supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology through a comprehensive range of resources and activities.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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