MSU notes ITS success, initiatives at annual meeting

Steve Parrott and Mark E. Keenum

Mississippi State Chief Information Officer Steve Parrott welcomes MSU President Mark E. Keenum to the annual meeting for MSU’s Information Technology Services. PHOTO: Megan Bean | Public Affairs

As Mississippi State carries out its learning, research and service missions, the university’s Information Technology Services is behind the scenes making sure students, faculty and staff have the digital tools they need to be successful.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum addressed ITS employees during the organization’s annual meeting last Thursday [Oct. 31], noting their vital contributions to the campus, which include maintaining and protecting the university’s wired and wireless networks.

“You may not be high-profile, but without you, this place doesn’t run,” Keenum said.

Keenum acknowledged several recent initiatives ITS has undertaken to improve IT services at the main campus in Starkville and MSU’s offices across the state. MSU recently became the first university in Mississippi to require two-factor authentication for students, faculty and staff, while also switching to the Canvas Learning Management System, replacing outdated telephone technologies and migrating campus users to Office 365.

MSU has also emphasized making all aspects of its website accessible to people with disabilities. University website developers can now use Siteimprove to ensure their sites are compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. For more, see

“We are committed to doing what we have to do to ensure our websites are fully accessible,” Keenum said.

ITS is led by Steve Parrott, who was named the university’s chief information officer in 2018. The unit includes 122 full-time employees across three primary units.

“We are very blessed to have these dedicated IT professionals working at MSU,” Parrott said.

Other senior ITS leadership includes Meredith Jackson, deputy CIO and director of Enterprise Information Systems; Gerhard Lehnerer, director of Information Technology Infrastructure; Teresa McMurray, director of User Services; and Tom Ritter, senior security and compliance officer.

For more on ITS, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

James Carskadon | Public Affairs

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