John F. Speer III, President & Chief Executive Officer

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 Team.

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.