Jay Collier is pictured in this undated photo.

Jay Collier is pictured in this undated photo.

PORTLAND — The University of New England has appointed Jay Collier director of Computational and Digital Programs. Collier will lead new, innovative initiatives designed to enhance computational thinking across disciplines.

Computer science and technology applications are changing almost daily. Collier’s appointment reflects UNE’s focus on providing a flexible and adaptable approach to computer and digital education, ensuring that graduates are ready for careers that utilize and contribute to this rapidly evolving digital landscape, the university said in a recent press release.

“We live in a digital age and our students will increasingly need knowledge in this area,” UNE President Danielle Ripich said in the release. “Jay Collier’s work in this field and his dedication to Maine made him a perfect fit for UNE as we continue to work collaboratively to build Maine’s workforce. There is no question the need is there to integrate computers and digital programs into all aspects of higher education. Whether it’s health informatics, where UNE is a recognized leader, or other areas that will be developed, UNE will push forward to give students the best educational experience.”

The first to hold the position at UNE, Collier will look at educational offerings serving both traditional and non-traditional learners in residential, hybrid and online environments. He will also explore areas of specialization for those seeking more focused training. Collier’s work will concentrate on the essential workplace competencies required of leaders and knowledge workers in this global, technology-focused economy.

“I’m pleased to join the University of New England to develop new learning programs in computing, digital and information technologies,” Collier said in the release. “The demand for tech professionals at all levels is growing rapidly and UNE is well positioned to help prepare students to meet employer needs here in Maine and beyond. I look forward to continuing to work with our many employers, educators and workforce colleagues to raise awareness of these career opportunities across the state and across the country.”

Collier brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education and digital communications to the position. Most recently, he spearheaded Project>Login, a business-led campaign of Educate Maine to expand opportunities for K-12, college and adult learners exploring and pursuing pathways toward high-demand computing, digital and information technology careers in Maine.

Collier holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree from Vermont College. He has held positions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College and Bates College, and he has served as a consultant to the Maine Department of Education.