EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit higher education information technology association, awarded former California State University, Northridge Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Hilary J. Baker with its 2020 Community Leadership Award.
The award recognizes Baker, who retired from CSUN in late 2019, “for her tireless and unwavering commitment to building community and advancing the higher ed IT profession through her exceptional leadership, mentorship, and dedicated service.”
“It is an honor to receive this EDUCAUSE award, especially because it highlights important values held by CSUN and the California State University (CSU) system, including values of inclusiveness, integrity, and personal commitment in service to the community and the profession,” Baker said. “I hope this award encourages others to pursue the many innovation and rewarding careers in IT and, in particular, I hope that it inspires other women to follow STEM careers and pursue IT leadership roles in higher education.”
Baker was awarded emeritus status when she retired for her impact and years of service to CSUN and the CSU. At the time of her retirement in December 2019, she was a member of the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors, having served in that role since 2017. She has been a frequent presenter on leadership and a variety of other topics at EDUCAUSE conferences.
In addition to her work with EDUCAUSE, Baker also served as Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Innovation and Technology Council and has been a member of the Oracle Education & Research Industry Strategy Council and the Salesforce Higher Education CIO Council. She previously served on the PeopleSoft Higher Education User Group Board and the Northridge Hospital Community Board, and is an alum of the 2004 Leadership California Program for California women executives. In 2017, she was recognized with an Outstanding Executive in Technology Award from the Advancing Women in Technology organization.
While at CSUN, Baker shaped the overall direction and vision for information technology at the university, including implementing CSUN Technology Vision 2022, a university-wide strategic plan to leverage technology and create a more digitally enabled institution in support of student success. During her tenure at CSUN, she also led several innovative and award-winning technology projects, including student competitions with virtual/augmented reality and artificial intelligence themes, a student/faculty tablet initiative, and an AI-powered CSUN chatbot.