Helen T. Mohrmann, an expert in computer technology, will join Cornell University as director of administrative systems and distributed technologies effective Feb. 1.
Mohrmann, who will report jointly to H. David Lambert, vice president for information technologies, and to Frederick A. Rogers, senior vice president, will serve as a member of both management teams. She also will serve as a member of Cornell's Administrative Data Systems Policy Advisory Committee (ADSPAC) and will provide leadership for Cornell's transition to a distributed systems environment from a mainframe system.
Mohrmann has primary responsibility for administrative system deployment and building the infrastructure to support client/server architecture -- using software running on desktop computers (clients) to access information located on workstations elsewhere on a network (servers). This is a move away from time-shared mainframe computing where everyone logged on to a big central computer.
She replaces David Koehler, who left in 1994, and John Rudan, who has been acting in that position since February 1994.
"I am excited and eager to come to Cornell," Mohrmann said. "Cornell is a very innovative user of technology, and I look forward to being part of a team that will bring distributed computing to campus and achieve worldclass service in information technology."
Rogers said that Mohrmann brings valuable experience to Cornell that will enable the university to provide better service to administrators, faculty, staff and students, and at lower cost. "I am excited that Helen is able to join us at the beginning of our major effort to improve administrative services and lower administrative costs through new systems implementations," Rogers said.
Said Lambert: "Cornell is a leader in providing distributed computing services for network services like e-mail and Web browsing. Our challenge now is to apply this technology to our administrative information systems. The challenge is not just rewriting the systems to use a new technology. It's much more complex and involves working with administrative units and college business officers to make sure the processes we automate make sense and provide the information needed."
He added: "After a lengthy search we feel we have found an excellent match between a person and a challenge. We welcome Helen to the campus and the community."
Mohrmann comes to Cornell from Stream International in Norwood, Mass., where she served as vice president of architecture and technical services since March 1995. Prior to that, she was vice president and division manager of distributed architecture and services for Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh and at the Boston Co. At Mellon Bank, Mohrmann created a new division to chart the company's strategy for the use of distributed computing, including data networks, desktop standards, messaging platforms and client/server architecture.
Mohrmann has an undergraduate degree in government from the University of Texas (1977) and a graduate degree in Soviet affairs from Harvard University (1979). Her husband, Kurt Fristrup, is assistant director of the Bioacoustics Program at Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology.