OIT Leadership Team
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) leadership team includes the directors of OIT's ten administrative branches. This team meets once a month, and together they work on the strategic goals of the unit.
Jason Ball provides vision, leadership, strategic planning, and coordination of information technology, media, networking, and telecommunications throughout the University's multi-campus environment. He supports these operations within OIT, develops strong managers and staff to meet strategic goals and improve customer service, participates fully with other campus leaders in advancing the University’s mission, and develops and manages long-term relationships with technology vendors and partners. Mr. Ball also works with the University’s chief financial officer to ensure seamless integration of administrative and emergency information systems. Mr. Ball joined FAU after serving as the Assistant Vice President and Director of Information Technology at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He has more than 20 years of technology management experience in higher education.
Mehran Basiratmand, Ph.D., directs FAU’s information technology infrastructure posture and tactical activities. As Director of Enterprise Systems, he orchestrates various teams, focusing on delivery of the highest quality technology services to the FAU community. These teams include Systems and Operations, Middleware, Databases, Reporting and Business Intelligence, Research Computing Support, DR and Cloud Planning, Telecommunications and Networking, and User Services. Dr. Basiratmand is also responsible for evaluating technology products prior to their purchase to ensure they meet FAU’s technology standards and align with FAU’s strategic plan. Dr. Basiratmand has over 30 years of IT experience. He joined FAU from Florida International University almost 20 years ago as the Director of Academic and Research Computing. He became Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director, Enterprise Systems, almost 15 years ago. He serves on several technology boards. He is the Chairperson of the NWRDC Policy Board.
Christian Block joined OIT in November 2021 as Executive Director for the Office of the CIO. Christian has 18 years of higher education technology experience. He served as the Director of Information Services and Technology for Jacksonville University, a private, non-profit university in Jacksonville, Florida. While at Jacksonville, he assisted with the transition from a custom Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to a new system manufactured by Ellucian, formerly Datatel Colleague. Christian was most recently at Broward College, where he served as the Chief Business Officer for Information Technology (IT), overseeing a $12 million budget, and supervising the offices of the Help Desk, Project Management, Enterprise Communications and Systems, Quality Assurance, and Fiscal Management. He also managed all procurement, contracting, and vendor relations for the IT Department. Christian earned his B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Jacksonville University and his M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.
As the Director of Fiscal Management, Lucy oversees the financial component of OIT. She is responsible for budgeting, planning, developing, and implementing the business and financial auxiliary services functions of the department. She works with the CIO, the CTO, OIT directors, and other IT staff to ensure the established financial budgetary goals and objectives are communicated and attained. Lucy leads a team that is responsible for all telecommunications billing across the University. Her team also provides services such as data and statistical analysis on phone and usage charges, work order requests, budget approvals for billing, vendor accounts receivable, and accounts payable. Lucy has over 30 years of financial and budget experience in higher education. She joined FAU and the OIT team in 2016 after relocating from Rochester, New York.
Ying Liu, Ph.D., manages the development, enhancement, and maintenance of information resource data to support decision making, planning, and reporting for the entire University community. He leads the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analysis (IEA) and supports University executives, campus administrators, and campus committees with research, planning, and analysis for evidence-based decision making and policy formation. Prior to joining FAU in March of 2018, Dr. Liu was the Director of Institutional Research at the University of Toledo. He has also worked at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Toronto, and McMaster University. Dr. Liu earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Beijing Normal University in China and his master’s degree in statistics from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Liu’s research has focused on measuring student outcomes with advanced statistical models, as well as the cognitive processes involved in learning.
James Cooley is the Director of Information Security within OIT and the University’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). James joined FAU in 2010 with background experience in enterprise servers and applications, network operations and management, and information security. James has his bachelor’s degree in computer science and his MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology. His team is responsible for overseeing the protection of University digital assets, including University data, University networks, and University technology systems, while ensuring compliance with appropriate standards and regulations and balancing the operational objectives of the University.
Ken Rothhaar is the Director of Networking and Telecommunications within OIT. Ken is a graduate of The Georgia Institute of Technology. He has over 20 years of IT experience, with 15 years focused on networking and telecommunications at FAU. Ken manages the core networking and telecommunications departments and oversees the implementation of communication infrastructure projects across all FAU campuses. Ken's primary focus is delivering core networking and telecommunications services to the University as well as planning and implementing new services for the next generation of connected devices.
As Director of Partner Campuses Technology Services (Broward Technology Services and Northern Technology Services), Dr. Fernández is responsible for evaluating, planning, developing, and implementing technology resources and services in support of administrative and academic clients at the FAU Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and Dania Beach campuses. Prior to his appointment at FAU, he served as Director of Web Strategy at Lynn University, where he was responsible for the overall structure of the University’s Web presence. Dr. Fernández also served as Assistant Dean of Information Technology, Director of Instructional Computing Services, and Activity Director of a U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant at Barry University. He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics, an MBA in finance, and an Ed.S. in computing technology from Barry University. He also earned a second Ed.S. and a doctorate (Ph.D.) in computing technology in education from Nova Southeastern University College of Engineering and Computing.
As Director of Instructional Technologies, Joanne oversees daily administration and operations of the audiovisual services, classroom systems, computer labs, learning management systems, faculty training, and video services teams. These teams provide exceptional software and hardware support for all FAU faculty, staff and students in their everyday coursework and studies. As OIT’s primary contact for Educational Broadband Spectrum, Joanne represents FAU on NEBSA’s Board of Directors. She has worked in numerous capacities in OIT over the past 25 years. She was a founding staff member of FAU’s MacArthur Campus in Jupiter, where she is also a dedicated member of the Huckshorn Arboretum Committee. A native New Englander, Joanne worked in the greater Boston area for Electronic Data Systems, Computer Information Systems, and Digital Equipment Corporation before moving to Florida. She has her bachelor’s degree in MIS from the University of Massachusetts Boston and her master’s in public administration from FAU.
Wendy leads the Engagement Management team, which is responsible for bringing together project management resources and implementing quality standards to project deliverables in OIT. Wendy has led the implementation of a wide range of mission critical applications, including the student onboarding system, the University advising system, customer relationship management, and the My FAU Portal and Mobile platforms. Wendy has over 20 years of technology experience in higher education. She is a proud FAU alumnus. She earned her bachelor’s degree in MIS from FAU and joined FAU in 2002 as a Web developer. She has a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification and a Salesforce Certified Administrator (SCA) certification. Wendy represents OIT on numerous University committees.
Steve provides direction for FAU's Administrative Systems. He facilitates project portfolio and data governance, oversees administrative software projects and software product life cycles, ensures quality and timely software deliverables, and provides strong and persistent partnerships and customer service. His team includes Business Analysis, Software Architecture, Development, and Production Support. Steve works with the CIO and CTO to coordinate software evaluations, selections, and deployments. In partnership with campus colleagues, he strives to ensure that software meets the evolving demands of the University with an emphasis on value, quality, and timeliness through agile principles and practices. Steve earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He has 33 years of IT experience, 20 of which were in IT management at Cornell University. Steve joined FAU in 2016.