John F. Speer III is president and chief executive officer of
Ellucian. Previously Mr. Speer was president and chief executive of
Datatel, Inc. since August 2006. He has more than 28 years of experience
in the higher education technology community, personally helping
hundreds of colleges and universities manage change through the
implementation of advanced information management systems. In 2010, Mr.
Speer was recognized by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year
for Greater Washington. He has also provided technology strategic
planning for reaffirmation visiting committees for the Commission on
Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
From 1997 until August 2006, he was Datatel’s vice president of
sales. In this role, he was responsible for Datatel’s business
development activities, including new client acquisitions and ongoing
client relationship management. Mr. Speer joined Datatel’s Software
Development Division in 1984, and in 1986 relocated to California to
help open Datatel’s Western Region office. He returned to Datatel
headquarters in 1994 to lead the Central Region Business Development
Mr. Speer graduated James Madison University in 1983, having majored
in management information systems. Since 1993, he has served on
Datatel’s Strategic Planning Committee responsible for shaping Datatel’s
long-term vision and direction.
Having trained in the IBM Total Quality Management (TQM) program in
the early 1990s, Mr. Speer became a champion for continuous improvement
initiatives at Datatel. He played a pivotal leadership role in Datatel
receiving the United States Senate Productivity and Quality Award in
1997; and has been an active member of the Continuous Quality
Improvement Network (CQIN) since 2000. Today, Mr. Speer is actively
involved in advancing the adoption of the Malcolm Baldrige National
Quality Award principles throughout higher education, and participates
on both the AACC and ACCT Corporate Councils.