Meet the New GPN Executive Director

July 6, 2023

The Great Plains Network is pleased to announce the appointment of Mickey Slimp as its new Executive Director effective August 1.  With an impressive track record of leadership and expertise in higher education and technology, Mickey Slimp will be pivotal in guiding the network’s strategic initiatives and fostering collaboration within the regional research community. With more than three decades of working with wide area networks and facilitating multi-institutional collaboration, Mickey understands the intricacies of advancing regional research initiatives.

As Executive Director, he will provide strategic direction, oversee network operations, foster collaborations with member institutions, secure funding, and advocate for the GPN member’s interests. His expertise will be instrumental in advancing the Great Plains Network’s mission and enhancing its impact on the regional research landscape.

Mickey is looking forward to the regional leadership opportunity.  “The eclectic nature of the Great Plains Network with academic, research, and medical campuses, along with state networks serving both two and four-year colleges, is an exact match to my background, so that I hope to quickly feel at home.” Adding, “I love working with a variety of people and exploring possibilities. Great Plains has an abundance of these.”

He assumes the role of Executive Director effective August 1. He will lead a talented community of professionals dedicated to providing advanced networking solutions and support to member institutions across the Great Plains region. With this extensive educational and career foundation, Mickey is equipped for success to support the Great Plains Network’s mission.

Brief Bio:

Mickey has served on the executive board of Texas LEARN, a renowned organization that promotes networking advancements in Texas. In addition, Mickey has held key executive positions, including Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Network and the East Texas Interactive Healthcare Network, where he successfully spearheaded collaborative efforts in the healthcare and education sectors. Furthermore, as the Founding Director of the Virtual College of Texas, Mickey has demonstrated leadership in promoting innovative approaches to higher learning and fostering cross-institutional collaboration.

During the past three years, he has acted as a project manager/consultant for approximately $70 million in state and federal broadband expansion projects in rural east Texas. He has also served as an associate provost for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.

Mickey has a diverse educational background, including a B.A. in Humanities from East Tennessee University, an M.A. in Instructional Communications from East Tennessee University, a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, and an Ed.D. in Educational Media & Technology from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Notable Achievements:

  • Co-Author of How the Internet of Things is Changing Our Colleges, Our Classrooms, and Our
  • A member of the Texas Distance Learning Hall of Fame
  • Participant in the 2022 National Leadership Academy for the Public Health (CDC)
  • A board director for the Instructional Technology Council of the American Association of
    Community Colleges