Joe Sawasky possesses extensive IT leadership experience, spanning higher education, healthcare and manufacturing. He is an active member of the Merit Services Innovation Group and Merit Security Summit Planning Committee.
Prior to joining Merit on August 31, 2015, Joe served as Chief Information Officer and Associate VP for computing and information technology at Wayne State University (WSU). During his time at WSU, he served as the University’s representative on the Merit Board of Directors, and most recently served as Board chair prior to becoming Merit’s president and CEO. At Wayne State, he was responsible for the university’s computing and networking facilities, datacenter operations, enterprise software applications, learning management environments, high-performance research computing, voice services, information security, and information technology support services. Under Joe’s leadership, his IT organization transformed technology services for the campus — consolidating and modernizing IT, improving the customer experience, and developing noted innovations. Joe and his team also received national recognition for innovative software solutions, including Academica-ESP, a new enterprise social portal service designed to facilitate and encourage real-time collaboration between students, faculty and staff.
Joe worked for the University of Toledo and University of Toledo (UT) Medical Center as Chief Information Officer and associate VP for information technology, prior to joining Wayne State University. During nearly 22 years with UT, he served in a series of increasingly responsible positions, focusing on IT strategic planning, organizational leadership, project portfolio management, and customer satisfaction/quality programs. In a unique and highly publicized event, the University of Toledo merged with the Medical University of Ohio on July 1, 2006. So, in addition to leading the information technology division of a research extensive institution of higher learning, he was given the opportunity to also lead IT for the University of Toledo Medical Center hospital and clinics. Merger activities involved team integration, ERP integration, infrastructure integration and launching a transformational Digital Hospital initiative.
Joe participated on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Technology Leaders group and the Detroit CIO Executive Summit annual forum. He also was the convener of the Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan CIO Committee.
Joe is a University of Toledo graduate.