CIO Shawn Ellis to join UNT in September for dual role with UNT System — An Official Notice from the President

Aug. 23, 2019

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

As a Tier One research university, it’s crucial that UNT continue to improve our students, faculty and staff user experiences with technology inside and outside of the classroom. That’s why I’m pleased to announce that UNT System Chancellor Lesa Roe’s appointment of Shawn Ellis as the UNT System’s new Chief Information Officer, effective in September, will be a dual appointment as Chief Information Officer at UNT.

Hiring a Chief Information Officer was a top priority for the UNT System and UNT, as this position is critical to our future. I’m excited about the wealth of IT knowledge and leadership that Shawn will bring to UNT and the UNT System.

Shawn, who has more than 25 years of technology experience, will be responsible for overseeing the system’s central information technology operation and Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS) to support UNT, UNT Dallas, UNT Health Science Center and the UNT System Administration. ITSS helps provide more than 60 essential services for system institutions, including maintaining the system's infrastructure and hardware, supporting software for faculty and staff, and helping students run software on their mobile devices and computers. Shawn has 11 years of leadership experience at the university level, which will help us continue to better deliver resourceful IT solutions to students, faculty and staff.

He joins us following a two-year stint as the Senior Vice President, Engineering at BBVA Compass, one of the largest banks in the U.S. Shawn previously served as Chief Technology Officer for the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Associate Chief Information Officer at the University of Georgia. His university leadership included developing strategic planning for information security, telecom, network and applications components, as well as increasing network bandwidth, reducing outages, improving the research computing storage and computing capacity and establishing multiple cloud-based services.

I have no doubt that in a short time Shawn will be an invaluable asset in helping move UNT and the UNT System forward.  

Please join me in giving Shawn a warm welcome from our UNT community.

UNT Proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President