October 7, 2005
05-223

Charles Harmon Director of University Relations, Sementha Mathews Manager of Public Information and Media Relations

Joe Newton Named Director of Information Technology

Valdosta State University President Ronald M. Zaccari has announced the appointment of Joseph Allen Newton, III as Valdosta State's Director of Information Technology (IT), effective on November 1, 2005. Newton has been serving as the university's interim director of IT since October 2002.

As interim director, and while concurrently serving as the assistant director of Micro-Computing and Systems Services since July 2002, Newton has been responsible for IT and its 25 employees, the support of student information, Email, Web, and PC and Fileserver Systems across campus with a $3 million budget.

Some of Newton's major contributions to VSU include the expansion of student employment in IT from 5 to 35 student workers; addition of seven full-time staff positions in the division and support of seven new positions across the campus, successful reconfiguration of IT budgets; procurement of IT assets for the campus totaling an average of $3 million per year; expansion of computing facilities by establishing new server rooms in the Odum Library; management of the project to develop the strategic planning database application which won a University System of Georgia Best Practice Award and enters it fourth year of development and use; coordination of the Institutional Data Warehouse initiative; co-chairing the ID Change Taskforce that converted institutional identification numbers from social security numbers to a unique institutional identification number, as well as an extensive list of other accomplishments.

Newton continues to spearhead the IT concerns at the university, appeasing faculty, staff, students and parents with a display of professionalism and clear communication of actions.

Newton said his focus for IT in the next three to five years will be on improving on-line instruction, upgrading the network infrastructure for reliability and Voice over IP and conferencing, implementing information security best practices, addressing staffing needs, engaging entire campus in IT planning, planning for the health sciences complex at north campus and planning for a new technology center. Other items on his list include improving self-service via web, cell-phone, and PDAs, and implementing document workflow, imaging, and digital signatures across the campus. Newton graduated from Valdosta State College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy. He is expected to graduate with his Master of Public Administration degree in fall 2006, which he said will provide him the "theoretical and technical underpinning for the management skills and experience" he acquired as interim director.

Newton is a member of the Administrative Committee for Information Technology for the University System of Georgia. He is currently serving on the following VSU committees: chair, Administrative Council Technology Committee; co-chair, Banner Project Team; chair, Student Technology Fee Action Committee; ex-officio, Faculty Senate Technology Committee. Newton was also a member of the Master Planning Committee in 2003-2004 and co-chair of the ID Change Taskforce 2004-2005.