Associate CIO leaving university

By William Cuellar

Cal Poly Pomona’s associate CIO for academic technology is leaving the university after almost 11 years of service.

Kevin Morningstar has accepted a position as dean and chief information officer for Instructional Information Technology Services at Cal State San Marcos, which will begin in July.

With the use of APP virtualization and virtualized desktops, San Marcos is known for its innovative use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Morningstar will oversee all areas of technology on campus.

“I look forward to being a part of the innovation on campus,” said Morningstar.

Morningstar began working for Cal Poly Pomona in October 2004 as an IT consultant for the Division of Student Affairs. As a consultant, Morningstar created a report detailing his vision on how to support technology.

The report led to the creation of the Student Affairs Information Technology Services, with Morningstar as the founding executive director in April 2005.

Morningstar developed and implemented his vision, which was to build a common support structure for Student Affairs.

By September 2005, the department was fully functional. After four years, SAITS virtualized the entire Student Affairs division. SAITS built a common interface that has 800 active desktops allowing a person to utilize the same information from any computer in the system.

“By 2009, a police officer could hop on any computer within the student affairs [department], and find [that] everything will be there as if they were on their home computer,” said Morningstar.

SAITS also pioneered virtualization at CPP in 2006. Desktop virtualization creates a virtual version of a server, which allows a user to utilize the same data along multiple computers without needing actual hardware.

When the department was created, Morningstar was SAITS’ lone employee. Over time, he built the department into a successful organization.

“We had a high performance culture,” said Morningstar. “To start it with nothing, to build a professional organization [with] 18 staff . . . has been my most satisfying personal accomplishment.”

SAITS eventually merged with the central IT division and Morningstar became the associate CIO in 2013. As the associate CIO, Morningstar oversaw campus networks, student computer labs, enterprise systems, the data center, the phone system and technical support services.

Morningstar’s most recent completed projects include installing a new campus-wide VOIP phone system which went live Dec. 13, and the expansion of campus WiFi to the Bronco Student Center and student housing. The last project he will oversee involves an extensive upgrade of IT computers, computer labs and projectors throughout campus.

“I think this is the next logical step in his career path and I know he is going to do an awesome job,” said Director of Administrative Desktop Technology Susan Reese. “I’m happy for him.”

While many employees are sad to see him go, everyone is wishing him the best of luck.

“I’m very happy for his success,” said I&IT staff member Loretta Villanueva.

Over the course of his career at CPP, Morningstar has always made an effort to make a difference on campus and to leave his mark wherever he goes.

“If you want to advance in life, you want to come into every job and think about how you are going to leave a mark,” said Morningstar. “It gives you that special differentiation that helps you move on to the next thing.”

While Morningstar is looking forward to his new post, there will always be things he will miss about working at CPP.

“I’m going to miss the beauty that distinguishes [CPP] from other campuses,” said Morningstar. “How many college campuses do see that, when you drive off, you see a white picket fence with horses running?”


Jacqueline Lopez-Crisp / The Poly Post


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