Michael Olesen, a technology and grant administrator with over 33 years of experience in higher education, has been appointed Director of the Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) Consortium at Pine Technical College. He will begin Monday, Feb. 10.
Back in September it was announced that Pine Technical College has received an $18.3 million four-college, multi-state consortium grant in part of an effort to expand demand-driven skills training, and strengthen employer partnerships. These grants are the third installment of a nearly $2 billion community college initiative, and the four-year grant began Oct. 1, 2013.
Over the past five years Olesen was the Director of Information Technology, Biosciences, and Research for the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR). With UMR's transition to a system campus and the introduction of a Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology Research and Academic program and the launching of BS in Health Science in fall 2009, Olesen played the lead role in planning, developing, implementing, and managing UMR's information technology infrastructure. This included facilitating the development of UMR’s leading-edge Minnesota High Tech Associate (MHTA) TekNe award winning learning management system iSEAL (intelligent System for Educational Assessment and Learning) and implementing active learning classrooms at UMR. In addition, he was responsible for research administration and research programs of the Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (BICB) program.
Prior to joining UMR, Olesen was Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Digital Technology Center where he was involved in building university-industry research consortia and Assistant Director of the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute where he implemented high performance computing solutions.
Michael has a B.A. in History from Hamline University and a MS in Higher Education Administration from Saint Cloud State University.