Ms. Bowser’s Successful Tenure Marked by Collaborative Leadership and Commitment to Service Excellence; Deputy CIO Scott Stefan, MBA, Will Assume Interim Leadership Role
University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, announced today that Sharon A. Bowser, MBA, Associate Dean and Chief Information Officer, who has dedicated nearly 30 years of service and leadership to the UMSOM, will retire, effective August 1. To ensure a smooth transition in the UMSOM Office of Information Technology Services, Dean Reece announced that Scott Stefan, MBA, Assistant Dean and Deputy Chief Information Officer, will become the Acting Associate Dean and Chief Information Officer. Song Yu, PhD, the Executive Director of IT Projects, will become the Acting Assistant Dean and Deputy Chief Information Officer. Both appointments will be effective August 1.
Ms. Bowser, who successfully led the institution through a period of dramatic change in computer technology and information systems during her tenure, managed a longstanding team of high-performing IT professionals, many of whom have been with the department for more than 20 years. In all, the Office of Information Technology Services grew to its current team of 34 professionals and technical personnel. They provided a full range of IT services to the entire UMSOM, including faculty, staff, trainees, and students. The Office now provides network infrastructure in 17 UMSOM buildings as well as a network presence in two additional buildings.
Retention has been a major hallmark of the department’s success, with 20 percent of the employees serving more than 20 years; 41 percent serving the department between 10 and 19 years; and 38 percent serving for 9 or fewer years.
“Ms. Bowser, a highly effective and outstanding leader, has been a key member of the Dean’s Leadership team,” said Dean Reece. "She has successfully led a complex functional area that has been increasingly critical to UMSOM in each of the core mission areas of research, clinical care, and education. The longevity of Ms. Bowser’s team is truly a testimony to her engaging and caring leadership style. Her collaborative and strategic approach with each of our partners – UMB, UMMS, FPI, and ITAAC – played an essential role in moving the most challenging IT initiatives forward over the past two decades. She has been a strong and effective partner and was able to transform IT Services in the UMSOM.”
Mr. Stefan said: “I wish Sharon the very best in a much deserved retirement. Throughout her tenure here, Sharon elevated the Information Technology Services department to new heights. Her ability to collaborate with colleagues across the UMSOM to implement innovation IT solutions, such as the rollout of Microsoft cloud productivity tools, has brought countless efficiencies to our faculty, staff, and students.”
Dr. Yu added: “Sharon is a kind, thoughtful, optimistic and hard working leader. Her vision and insight have led the department to integrate emerging technology, and to provide high quality services and innovative solutions. Her attention to details has led us to accomplish all the tasks that empower the school to achieve high levels of teaching, learning, research, and collaboration. Her exceptional qualities have inspired us in so many ways.”
Ms. Bowser’s career path followed an upward trajectory that began at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Following 10 years in administration at UMB and data processing in UMB’s Office of Academic Computing, Ms. Bowser joined the UMSOM as a Database Administrator in 1993. She then advanced to Director of Management Information Systems in 1997 and to Assistant Dean for Information Services in 2002. In 2015, she was given the additional responsibility of Deputy Chief Information Officer, and in 2019 was promoted to her current role of Associate Dean and Chief Information Officer.
Working directly with Dean Reece, Ms. Bowser collaborated closely with the Information Technology Affairs Advisory Committee (ITAAC) and oversaw the development of SOM-specific IT policies and procedures to comply with all applicable regulatory bodies, including Federal, State, USM, and UM Campus. She led the operational divisions of Information Technology Services: Network, Infrastructure/Servers, Web/Intranet Development, Applications Development, Database Administration, Security, and Customer Service/Help Desk, and managed the Division’s $6 million annual budget. ITAAC is currently chaired by Rodney J. Taylor, MD, MPH, The Bruce and Isobel Cleland Chair, and Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
“Ms. Bowser is a delight to work with," said Dr. Taylor. "She is a consummate professional who has always been an amazing steward and leader for facilitating faculty to do their jobs better and safer from an IT standpoint. I truly wish her the best in retirement.”
Peter Rock, MD, MBA, the Dr. Martin Helrich Chair of Anesthesiology, who formerly was the inaugural Chair of ITAAC, added: “I worked with Ms. Bowser for more than 12 years on information systems and information technology for the UMSOM. Ms. Bowser was a terrific partner, engaged and always balancing what was needed for UMSOM with how we could improve the productivity and effectiveness of our faculty. On her watch, the UMSOM made major improvements in IT infrastructure and improved cyber security. Her contributions to the UMSOM were numerous and very impactful. She will be greatly missed, and I wish her the best in her retirement.”
During this period, her executive responsibilities expanded significantly, as the UMSOM’s number of employees and Dean’s Office staff grew exponentially. In addition, her ability to collaborate and manage across complex systems with both UMB, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and University of Maryland Faculty Physician’s Inc. (FPI), as well as with the individual department chairs and directors of centers, institutes and programs, played an essential role in the UMSOM’s success.
“Ms. Bowser has been a wonderful colleague and collaborator. Her insights, expertise and leadership have been essential to the success of numerous initiatives and to achieving excellence in IT service delivery in the School of Medicine and for the University of Maryland, Baltimore," said Peter J. Murray, PhD, Senior Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at UMB. "She is leaving an enduring positive mark on the institution and on the people who she has worked with during her phenomenally successful career. I congratulate her on her retirement, and wish her good health and much happiness in the years ahead.”
Susan C. Buskirk, DM, MS, Vice President, Chief Accountability Officer, and Institutional Official for Human Subjects Research, added: “I have had the distinct privilege of working with Ms. Bowser for over 20 years, during which time innovations in information technology systems have revolutionized research support services. Ms. Bowser has been a transformational leader and great partner in these and other endeavors that impact the entire campus. Her positive and collegial approach to collaborations will be greatly missed and I personally thank her for all she has done. I offer my best wishes for an enjoyable retirement.”
Carlton McCullough, M.Eng, MBA, PMP, CHCIO, the UM Faculty Physcians, Inc. (FPI) Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Management, commented: "Ms. Bowser has been an outstanding partner in providing IT services for our collective constituents. She has her finger squarely on the pulse of what is needed for faculty, staff, and researchers within the UMSOM community. When I think of her, two words come to mind: dedication and collaboration. She is committed to making sure that the computer environment for her customers is running effectively and strives to provide quality service. As a result of her commitment to collaboration between UMSOM and FPI on technology issues and products, we have been able to break down many of the barriers to support that our customers once experienced. I congratulate Ms. Bowser on her long and successful career and wish her much joy with her family as she moves into her next phase."
Over the years, Ms. Bowser served on multiple UMSOM and UMB Committees, including most recently the UMB COVID-19 Recovery Task Force; COVID-19 Financial Working Group/ IT; the UMBrella Advisory Board; the University of Maryland’s IT CIO’s Quarterly Council; the University System of Maryland CIO Council; and UM Faculty Physician’s Inc, (FPI) Compliance and Audit Committee.
At the national level, Ms. Bowser was a member of the AAMC’s Group on Information Resources and the Clinical Research Forum’s IT Roundtable. She authored the publication, “Lightening the Burden of Research Administration Through Systems Integration” for the AAMC.
Ms. Bowser received both her B.S. Degree in Information Systems Management, and her MBA Degree from University of Maryland, University College (Global Campus).
“It is with mixed emotions that I say goodbye to my Information Technology Services family, to the staff and my colleagues in the dean’s office, across the UMSOM, FPI, and the UMB Campus with whom I’ve worked for so many years,” Ms. Bowser said. “We have been through a great deal together, and accomplished a great deal together. I will forever be grateful for the support I have received throughout my career, for the confidence Dean Reece and others had in me, the challenges I have been handed, and the encouragement I have received.”
Dean Reece concluded: “I congratulate Ms. Bowser on her retirement, and extend, on behalf of the entire UMSOM Community, our deepest and most sincere gratitude for her extraordinary dedication and service to the UMSOM over these many years. She will be sorely missed.”
About the University of Maryland School of Medicine
Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of more than $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients each year. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit medschool.umaryland.edu