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UA information technology head resigning for east coast university

By Michael Lafleur
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 22, 1999
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The UA's head of information technology will leave her post in April after accepting a position at the University of Rochester.

Mely Tynan, who started at the University of Arizona as an information specialist behind CCIT's help desk, has served four years as the vice provost for university information technology.

Tynan worked as the senior administrator for the Center for Computing and Information Technology, coordinating the UA's effort to address the Y2K problem. She was UA President Peter Likins' chief information security officer, and if it had something to do with the UA's computer network, Tynan had a hand in it.

Tynan leaves the UA for the post of "chief information officer" at the University of Rochester, New York - a position she calls a "step up."

"It will be business as usual as far as we're concerned here," said Bob Lancaster, head of CCIT, about the transitory period after Tynan's departure. "I think Mely has done a phenomenal job of letting CCIT managers and staff take care of their own problems."

Tynan, who has a master's degree in psychology from the University of the Philippines, came to the UA in 1982. During Tynan's tenure as a UA vice provost, she saw university e-mail accounts grow from a few thousand to more than 40,000.

In 1994, all UA buildings were not connected and there was no campus-wide computer network, Tynan said.

"We didn't have a campus backbone," she said.

However, now there is a link between every building on campus and then out to the Internet, Tynan said.

"Major progress has been accomplished with linking everybody together and enabling electronic communication," she said.

Pete Perona, who will serve as interim executive director of CCIT after Tynan departs, said one of Tynan's "major contributions" was the campus network.

"We have a very robust network on this campus," said Perona, a CCIT information systems administrator.

Lancaster said systems that support the Student Information System and Financial Records System were upgraded under Tynan's leadership.

"When she took over, those systems were way behind in terms of quality of support," he said.

Tynan directed CCIT during the development of UA Info on the university's Internet website. UA Info is the umbrella program for Student Link, which enables students to access their personal financial records and registration information.

"She was certainly instrumental in all of CCIT's web presence," Perona said.

When Tynan assumes her role at the University of Rochester May 1, she will have many new challenges to face. Tynan, who currently directs 195 employees, said there is a "similar sized" organization at Rochester.

She will be in charge of overseeing the creation of a new information technology network.

"It's a new organization," Tynan said. "They're combining all of the units relating to technology and they're hiring me to be the first information officer to accomplish the integration. In a way that's a very unique time to develop a strategic direction for technology for the entire university."

Tynan said she is "proud" of her time at the UA and the things she and her staff have been able to accomplish.

"It really makes me sad to leave," she said. "I learned a lot (here.) I developed a lot and I met a lot of friends and colleagues."