Leaving a Legacy in Academic Technology, Jorn to Retire in February

Tue January 21, 2020

A pioneering, collaborative global leader in academic technology, Linda Jorn, associate vice provost for learning technologies and DoIT director of Academic Technology, will retire from the University of WisconsinMadison in February.

Jorn joined UWMadison in 2011 after an accomplished tenure at the University of Minnesota, where she was instrumental in building an “active learning classroom” paradigm—an innovation in learning spaces that flips the traditional structure of large lectures and increases student engagement.

At UWMadison, leading Academic Technology in the Division of Information Technology (DoIT), Jorn has continued to act on her passion for collaborating with partners across the IT and teaching and learning domains to shape technology in support of student success.

On the global stage, Jorn is also an influential leader in the broader international community of instructional technologists, having served or held membership on more than 40 academic technology committees and councils. She has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications and served as principal investigator or co-investigator on 19 grants that brought millions of research dollars to higher education institutions.

In addition, Jorn has held several leadership roles with EDUCAUSE, a community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education through information technology. Committed to mentorship and sharing insights worldwide from her experience, Jorn is also a faculty member for the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) Leadership Institute.

In 2019, Jorn was awarded the prestigious EDUCAUSE Leadership Award for her visionary contributions to academic technology, collaborative skills, scholarship, and commitment to mentoring.

“I have always believed in the power of technology to connect us as human beings, collaborate on a global scale, and access information,” Jorn said. “Technology shapes us and we also shape technology.”

“I have enjoyed working with and learning from this wonderfully collaborative university community over the last nine years,” Jorn added. “It has been my privilege to work with you to create a positive climate while continuously refining and enhancing the student learning experience. I know this good work will continue.”

Throughout her career at the university, Jorn has worked closely with university leaders to set priorities around educational innovation, and with DoIT team members to continuously assess services that support the wise use of technology to improve learner success.

Jorn has been at the helm or partnered across campus on numerous transformative initiatives at UW–Madison. Just a few examples:

  • The REACH (Redesigning for Active Learning in High-Enrollment Courses) initiative, which aims to improve student learning by increasing students’ engagement in large introductory courses.
  • The development of the Student Digital Ecosystem (SDE), an Educational Innovation (EI) initiative to improve information accessibility and consistency, and empower faculty, staff and students with new tools and capabilities to achieve success.
  • Serving on the university-wide Learning Analytics Roadmap Committee (LARC), focused on providing actionable data that can improve student outcomes by informing course structure, content, and delivery, or support of the learning environment.
  • An ongoing commitment from DoIT Academic Technology to partner with instructors, colleges, schools and departments to integrate new and emerging learning technologies in support of sound pedagogical approaches.

Chief Information Officer and Vice Provost for Information Technology Lois Brooks lauded Jorn as a champion for a “fantastic learning experience for our students.” She also described Jorn as an exceptional mentor who bolsters her colleagues’ success while creating a welcoming and fun workplace.

“She’s one of those people who makes me feel glad for each encounter because I get inspiration and ideas, and feel uplifted by her great outlook on life,” Brooks said. “The university owes many thanks to Linda for all she’s accomplished.”

With retirement on the horizon, Jorn said she’s looking forward to discovering a new pace.

“I’m excited to have more time to travel Down Under, take long bike trips, and pursue writing and other passions,” Jorn said of her retirement plans.

Andy Goldstein, DoIT Academic Technology assistant director of Learning Solutions, will act as interim director of DoIT Academic Technology upon Jorn’s retirement on February 7. A search committee has been formed for the recruitment of a permanent director.