William H. “Bill” Graves, Ph.D., died on April 9, 2016, after a protracted and valiant struggle with brain cancer. He was 75.
A celebration of Dr. Graves’ life will be held Monday, June 6, at 2 p.m. at the Carolina Club in the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Graves earned his mathematics doctorate at Indiana University, then served on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for over 30 years and became professor emeritus of mathematics. Dr. Graves also served as UNC-Chapel Hill’s dean for general education, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, senior IT officer, and founder and director of the Institute for Academic Technology (a partnership with IBM). During those years he also served on boards for CAUSE, EDUCAUSE, and the Coalition for Networked Information, helping to launch Internet2 and co-founding EDUCAUSE’s National Learning Infrastructure Initiative and chairing the NLII’s planning committee.
While on sabbatical from UNC in 1997, he founded and directed the non-profit Collegis Research Institute and, after retiring in 1999 from UNC, founded and chaired the board of Eduprise, Inc., an academic technology services firm that subsequently merged with Collegis, then SunGard Higher Education (now Ellucian), where he served as Senior VP for Academic Strategy until his retirement in 2014.
Most recently, Dr. Graves has served on governing or advisory organizations for Antioch University, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, IMS Global Learning Consortium, National Center for Academic Transformation, U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, and the International Association of University Presidents.
Dr. Graves has published more than 80 books and papers, given hundreds of invited presentations, and advised hundreds of institutions based on the hope that “education can learn to harness IT as an agent of institutional self-disruption and self-transformation for improving academic performance” and will be recognized for years to come for his leadership and pioneering in the use of information technology in the support teaching and learning.