Memorial Day

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, campus offices will be closed on Friday, May 24, and Monday, May 27.

Dr. Donnie Grimes has been named the executive dean of information technology and workforce development at University of the Cumberlands. Grimes will continue to serve as the university’s executive vice president (EVP) for information technology.

“Donnie Grimes has a long tenure with Cumberlands and has been instrumental in the creation and management of our online IT programs,” said Dr. Larry Cockrum, president of the university. “In this new role, Donnie will lead the university’s workforce development initiatives with a specific focus on developing IT programs that equip students with the knowledge and technical skills needed to meet the demands of the real world.”

As executive dean, Grimes will provide leadership, supervision, and administration for the university’s Information Technology instructional programs.

Said Dr. Chris Leskiw, VP for academic affairs at Cumberlands, “Dr. Grimes is no stranger to the School of Computer and Information Services, as he was a pivotal player in the original development of all the curriculum for the executive programs. Most recently, he contributed to the design of the data science program.”

Mrs. Jessica Shearer has been named vice president for information technology at Cumberlands. Shearer has been with Cumberlands for 17 years and previously served as the director of information technology. As VP, she will provide senior leadership in all areas relating to technology, including access control, network security, software development security, cryptography, operations security, business continuity, physical security, and legal compliance. She will also continue to teach as an adjunct professor at the university.

In the past few years, Cumberlands has grown their IT programs to include new online master’s programs in data science, artificial intelligence in business, and cyber engineering, and in March the university formed a partnership with IBM Global University to offer IBM programming to students. The university has been named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) by the National Security (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There are just over 200 universities nationwide with CAE-CD designation, and only a select few in Kentucky among this elite group.

To learn more about the IT programs at Cumberlands, visit