(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University has hired a seasoned information technology specialist to serve as interim vice president of Information Management.
Deborah F. Dent, who worked for more than 36 years at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, will start at JSU on August 1. For the past decade, Dent served as deputy director of the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center. There she managed the day-to-day operations of the lab and oversaw the execution of ITL’s facility budgets and assisted the execution of its research and development, engineering, information technology and major computational efforts. She also assisted in the management of ITL’s human, financial and physical assets, which encompasses more than 400 government and contractor employees, a $219 million annual budget and $150 million in equipment and facilities.
The Hattiesburg native received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in scientific computing from the University of Southern Mississippi. She earned a master’s degree in computer science from Jackson State University.
“I’m excited about coming back to Jackson State and I’m excited about everything that is going on at the university,” Dent said. “Jackson State is embracing technology in new ways. I look forward to being a change agent to continue the university’s progress and innovation.”
Jackson State University President Carolyn W. Meyers said Dent will be a valuable addition to her leadership team.
“Upgrading and integrating technology throughout campus is one of Jackson State’s strategic priorities,” Meyers said. “The expertise that Dr. Dent brings will help push Jackson State University to the next level of excellence.”
Dent started work at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1975 as a computer science trainee, and worked her way up over the years as a computer programmer, a computer scientist and a supervisory computer scientist. During her tenure as ITL’s deputy director, she served for two years as the lab’s acting director.