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Mort Rahimi Steps Down as Chief Technology Officer

After 18 years, he will leave his post as head of information technology.

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September 18, 2009 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Morteza A. Rahimi plans to step down from his position as vice president for information technology and chief technology officer at Northwestern University in August 2010.

He will remain at the University as professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

"We are grateful for Mort's 18 years of dedicated service and pleased that he will remain at Northwestern," said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. "He has led the University's information technology efforts with vision, skill and determination through a time of sweeping change."

Rahimi's accomplishments have greatly benefited the University's teaching, research and service mission.  

In 1994, he led the deployment of a fiber-optic network that connected University buildings on both campuses. The networking, unusual in higher education at that time, provided high-speed transmission of information across the University. Rahimi also was instrumental in Northwestern's early adoption of a course management system, Blackboard, used today by most Northwestern faculty to provide course materials on the Web.

During his tenure, three major enterprise systems, HRIS, SES and NUFinancials, were implemented to help transform how the University supports its core mission in the areas of human resources, student support and financial management. In addition, Rahimi's Northwestern University Information Technology team recently announced the creation of a centrally managed high-performance research computing cluster to support University researchers. 

He is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in information technology. The International Center for Advanced Internet Research was formed in 2001 with corporate partners to accelerate leading-edge innovation of global communication through advanced networking technology. This resulted in Starlight, a hub for international and regional research networks at Northwestern that is available to researchers globally. Also in 2001, the Collaboratory Project was formed with external funding to provide elementary and high school teachers with consulting, training, technical advice and Web-based resources to improve student learning and achievement.

Before joining Northwestern, Rahimi worked at Wayne State University as director and then vice president of information systems and as chairman of the computer science department.

Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer is heading up a national search for Rahimi's successor The search will begin with the creation of a search committee comprised of faculty, deans, staff and students.