Mississippi State University (MSU) announced significant changes to the leadership of its Information Technology Services (ITS) team, including creation of a chief technology transformation officer (CTTO).

Under the new leadership structure, the CTTO will report to the provost and executive vice president. The new officer will be tasked with serving as a “strategic advisor to MSU leadership and working to develop and implement long-term technology improvement strategies.” The university’s CIO, who will report to the CTTO, will now be focused solely on the day-to-day operations of ITS and leading the organization’s teams of engineers and developers.

“As the past year has shown, information technology is a vital and rapidly-changing part of any institution of higher learning,” said David Shaw, MSU provost and executive vice president. “As we closely examined our current technology operations and infrastructure, it became apparent that while ITS has served the university admirably, there are challenges that must be addressed as we look toward future technology needs. Because of significant advances in technology, separating these considerable leadership roles will help to ensure the success of the university.”

To fill the newly created position, MSU is currently organizing a national search. In addition to reporting to the provost, the CTTO will also work with MSU’s CFO to manage the overall IT budget to help support the university’s strategic goals.

MSU noted in a press release that Steve Parrott will stay on as CIO, a position he has held since 2018. In his updated job description, Parrott will lead the ITS design, establishment, and maintenance functions in the new organizational structure, as well as identify staffing needed to accomplish MSU IT goals.

“Steve’s leadership and dedication to the mission of ITS has been and will continue to be invaluable,” said Shaw. “His steady hand during the pandemic really advanced the university. Steve’s decision to embrace this new structure will make him an even more effective leader as the ITS organization grows and evolves to meet new challenges.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs