Columbus State College Appoints New CIO, CISO


May 17, 2021

Columbus State University this week announced the appointment of a new Chief Information Officer and a Chief Information Security Officer. The two positions will work together to operate and secure the university’s network services, which meet the computing, communications and data needs of more than 10,000 students and staff on a daily basis.

“A reliable and secure technology infrastructure is critical in today’s higher education environment,” said Dr. Deborah Bordelon, CSU Provost and Executive Vice President. “The roles of a CIO and a CISO differ in focus, but work together in a way that underscores the growing importance of highly functional, highly secure computer networks for universities like Columbus State.”

Theodore Laskaris will act as Chief Information Officer or CIO of the CSU – a position he has held temporarily since July 2019. Through this role in the university’s Provost office, he is responsible for the overall management, direction and security of the university’s information technology assets. The CIO develops a strategy for the growth and renewal of organizational technologies that drive digital adoption, transform business processes and optimize the digital user experience.

During his 35 years of industry experience, Laskaris has overseen corporate-level computer and network infrastructure programs, as well as technical teams and processes in a variety of banking, investment, and academic settings – including his previous appointment at Champlain College, Vermont. He holds a Masters of Business Administration from Babson College.

Nicol Lewis joins the CSU as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). She succeeds Loretta Marshall, who served as interim CISO of the CSU and held various technology-related functions. The CISO is based in the Office for Legal, Ethics and Compliance of the CSU and ensures that all academic and operational data of the university is protected and made accessible within the framework of the information security guidelines of the CSU and the USG. A key element of the CISO’s role is working with senior management to minimize risk by establishing and maintaining a university-wide information security management system.

Lewis’ 20 year career spanned advanced roles in data security and cybersecurity, enterprise IT risk management and compliance, and business continuity. In addition to her previous role as CISO for the Parole, Probation, and Pardon Services in South Carolina, she held similar positions with both the Georgia Technology Authority and the Georgia Public Library Service. Her education includes the Georgia Cybersecurity Academy and a Master of Information Science from Valdosta State University.