The Division of Information Technology is restructuring its team to improve its services to Augusta University and AU Health.
“Organizations are extremely dependent on information technology systems and services to conduct their business, and they need the right people doing what they do best to ensure systems are running smoothly and services are being provided in a timely and efficient manner,” said Michael Casdorph, interim vice president of information technology and chief information officer. “Augusta University is no different. Because we want to provide the best service to the community we serve, we are making key leadership changes to put our customers in a position where they can succeed.”
Associate CIO and chief technology officer
Bryant Tatum has been named associate CIO and chief technology officer. In this new role, he is responsible for developing IT strategy, architecture and solutions to meet the functional business requirements of the university and health system. Additionally, he is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient operation and uptime of technology infrastructure operations, including, but not limited to cybersecurity operations, datacenter, network, telephony, identity and access management and other critical IT systems.
Tatum came to Augusta University in 2015 as the associate CIO of executive support, where he and his team served the technology needs for the enterprise’s executive leadership. Bryant took on the additional role of overseeing the health and maintenance of Augusta University and AU Health’s infrastructure, including telephone service, network services and systems administration.
Prior to joining Augusta University, Tatum served as the technology director for the City of Statesboro, Georgia.
Associate CIO of enterprise information systems
Edward Townsend, director of technology services for the University System of Georgia, has been named associate CIO of enterprise and information systems. He will be responsible for developing application strategies to support the university’s diverse mission fronts and be the senior IT leader responsible for a variety of large applications projects, including immediate priorities of moving PeopleSoft ERP to OneUSG and conducting a major Banner student information system upgrade. He will have leadership responsibility for enterprise business applications, student information systems, business intelligence and data warehouse, and research applications. Townsend led a team of 20 database and application administrators, who provided application services to USG institutions. He brings more than 20 years of information technology experience to Augusta University.
Associate CIO information technology service delivery
Doug Blackburn has been named associate CIO of information technology service and delivery. In his new role, Blackburn will focus on delivering information technology services to faculty, staff, students and patients across the university and health system. He will provide strategic leadership, management, direction and oversight of customer-focused IT service units and will focus on high-quality service delivery and support for customers; identifying opportunities for improvement and expansion of services to meet the evolving needs of our enterprise.
Blackburn joined the university in 2015 as the manager of the Medical College of Georgia’s technology services team, which served the technology needs of medical students and faculty in Augusta, Albany, Brunswick, Rome and Savannah. A year later, he became the director of university information technology services. In this role, he led the classroom and event services and instructional systems teams as well as the technology services teams for each of Augusta University’s colleges. Before coming to Augusta University, Blackburn served 15 years as the director of a private software development firm.
Director of student information systems
Lasharn Thomas has been named director of student information systems, who provides application and technical support for the student information system ecosystem, including major applications such as Banner, and supports all of the applications needs of the Registrar’s Office, the Bursar’s Office and the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs.
Thomas had served as the interim lead of student information systems since February 2017 and has been leading the Banner 9 upgrade project. She joined the university in 1996 as a programmer analyst and later served as a lead systems analyst and business systems analyst.
Additional changes on the horizon
National searches will begin soon for a chief information security officer and healthcare IT executive. The chief information security officer will establish and maintain the enterprise vision and strategy for IT risk management and information security practices designed to protect the confidentiality of our students, patients, faculty and staff, and to reduce adverse impacts to the university. The healthcare IT executive will be the senior IT leader responsible for healthcare IT delivery and will be responsible for developing application strategies to support the many needs of AU Health.