News Releases

Oberlin Names New Chief Information Technology Officer

January 5, 2017
Communications Staff
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Ben Hockenhull

OBERLIN—The college has chosen Benjamin R. Hockenhull, an information technology executive with 20 years of experience in higher education, to be the new chief information technology officer (CITO). His appointment will begin March 1.

Reporting directly to the vice president for finance and administration, Hockenhull is responsible for providing vision, leadership, oversight, and management for the Irvin E. Houck Center for Information Technology. The position supervises six direct reports and oversees an operating budget of about $5.5 million and a staff of 40.

Hockenhull comes from Saint Edward’s University, a private Catholic liberal arts university in Austin, Texas, where he most recently was associate vice president for digital innovation. There, he oversaw a $4.2 million IT budget, vendor/contract management, and IT security. He has also led, in collaboration with the school’s director of instructional and emerging technology, the ongoing development of Saint Edward’s University’s Global Learning Ecosystem—a comprehensive approach to integrating technology, teaching, strategy, and support.

Mike Frandsen, Oberlin’s vice president for finance and administration, says Hockenhull has proven experience in leading change while demonstrating a sophisticated, forward-thinking view of information technology. He has also focused on mentoring and staff professional development.

“Ben rose to the top of a very strong pool because of his experience in leading change, his emphasis on professional development for staff, and his commitment to communication and collaboration across campus,” Frandsen says. “He will bring a great combination of technical, management, and leadership skills to Oberlin. I am confident he will help us utilize technology in support of our educational mission in ways that make the best use of our resources.”

Hockenhull says he was attracted to Oberlin because of its commitment to social justice and academic excellence.

“To be a part of Oberlin, and to actively contribute to the ongoing excellence of an institution with such a compelling academic and societal mission is an extremely exciting opportunity,” he says.

“I see opportunities to provide Oberlin with innovative and relevant technologies that make a difference in the classroom and in the world outside Oberlin. Technology should empower, it should engender creativity, and it should facilitate the work of the academy. With this in mind, we will actively engage with the Oberlin community to better understand how their needs and the services we provide relate. This will help us as we explore how technology can improve the Oberlin experience for everyone.”

Hockenhull earned a bachelor’s in English from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and a master’s in computer resource and information management from Webster University in St. Louis, where he started his career. He replaces former CITO John Bucher, who retired in December 2016.

You may also like…

You may also like…

Two students look at  book with a picture of a large basket in it.

Winter Term in Oberlin: 2020

February 24, 2020
Winter Term is a time of year when Oberlin students are encouraged to conduct independent or group projects outside of courses related to their majors. Pursuits can be done on or off campus with students choosing to work almost anywhere on the map. This year we highlight some of the work by the more than 900 students who completed projects in Oberlin.
Two people post with bird mascot.

Educator in Death Valley National Park: Marcus Hill ’19

February 21, 2020
Geology graduate Marcus Hill is working alongside seasoned park rangers to run education programs for elementary school students. As one of the few geologists on staff, he’s discovering that visitors are excited to learn about rocks from someone who spent the last four years working with rocks.