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New Leaders

SU welcomes vice presidents to head up HR and IT

Written by Dean Forbes
June 23, 2016

Two executives from prominent Northwest companies have joined Seattle University as its latest vice presidents.

Chris Van Liew, who was chief information officer at Weyerhaeuser, has begun his new role as CIO and Vice President of Information Technology. Later this summer, Michelle Clements, a Seattle U alumna and senior vice president for Human Resources at REI, will begin her new job as Vice President for Human Resources.

Van Liew comes to Seattle U after working in Weyerhaeuser's Information Technology group for nearly 25 years. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the university's Information Technology Services department in delivering technology services and maintaining a secure infrastructure that meets users' needs, leverages efficiencies in operations and supports innovation in teaching, learning and scholarship.

"With more than 20 years of experience in information technology and a decade in leadership roles, Van Liew has distinguished himself as a highly effective technology executive who empowers organizational success through IT strategy and operational excellence," says President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. "His experience and values align with Seattle University and his leadership and vision will be critical in supporting and advancing the university's mission."

Currently, Van Liew also serves as a member of the Multi-Care Health System's East Pierce Regional Board and System-wide Quality and Safety Committee.

"I couldn't be happier to be selected as the CIO of such a tremendous institution with a clear sense of purpose," he says. "I look forward to helping guide the increased use of technology necessary for Seattle University to accomplish its mission in the years to come."

REI's Clements joins Seattle U with more than 18 years of senior executive and HR leadership experience. At REI she excelled at organizational and leadership development, improved employee engagement practices, recruiting and retention planning and was crucial in fostering a diverse and inclusive employment culture. She joins the university with a deep understanding of a complex and dynamic work environment, both internally and externally, and a proven record of developing a strong, collaborative workforce.

Clements is a 2015 graduate of the Seattle U Albers School of Business and Economics Leadership Executive MBA program.

For eight years she served on the board of directors for Leadership Tomorrow, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to inspire, connect and engage an effective community of leaders in serving civic needs in the Puget Sound region.

"As a business leader in this community for the past 30-plus years, I have had the privilege of working with many Seattle U grads who have spoken so highly of the quality of education they received, both in and outside of the classroom," says Clements. "SU's commitment to social justice has been a clear differentiator.  I look forward to now joining the Seattle U team and contributing to the mission and vision of the university."

"Michelle has a strong affinity for the Jesuit values of our university and spoke at length during her campus visit of the importance of being a part of a values-based institution," says President Sundborg. "She believes in the importance of being a 'steward of the culture,' aligning the workplace with the institution's mission and vision as well as its strategic plan."