ACANS News & Information Center Shaun Cooper


As many of you know, I have recently been assigned as the Chief Information Officer for New Mexico State University. This includes system wide responsibility for all of our campuses. It is an honor to be asked to serve in this role and I am very excited about what we can do together.

I grew up in Las Cruces and I am a product of the Las Cruces Public School District. My father was a career faculty member and administrator at New Mexico State University and I can recall many fun times at NMSU throughout my life. When I was 12, I “dumpster” dove and found login and passwords so that I could play “lunar lander” on the mainframe using paper terminals.

I completed a BS in Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in 1984 and completed a MS in Computer Science at the University of Texas, Austin in 1988. In the summer of 1988, I returned to Las Cruces and sold fireworks. During that time I was also fortunate to cold-call the Computer Center for work. Terry Duttle offered me a job in August 1988 and I joined NMSU in early September 1988.

I am married to Dr. Martha Mitchell, Department Head of Chemical Engineering, and we have two small children John (6) and David (2). In my spare time, I have taken to officiating high school football and basketball.

During my time at NMSU, I have had a number of responsibilities. I started out writing REX scripts on the mainframe to interface BITNET and a UNIX box so that we could upgrade off of RSCS V1.0. I learned UNIX system administration on a number of departmental UNIX (mostly Sun) computers. I spent time at WSMR supporting a PSL contract in which the computer center was a sub-contractor. I have spent time in domain name resolution, email configuration, router configuration, web applications, etc. While at NMSU, I have worked as a Systems Programmer, a Workstation Support Analyst, a Visualization Analyst, the Manger of Visualization, an Assistant Director (of many different areas), and as a Senior Technical Director. It has been a terrific, diverse work experience and I am appreciative of the opportunities afforded to me.

I value hard work, logical thought, compassion, and honesty. I enjoy teamwork and mentoring, and would like to foster a “can-do” attitude. My hope is that we will get to a point where a problem presented to a person is owned by that person, even if he/she doesn’t have the direct authority to change things – our clients do not think of us as sub-units, just as ICT and NMSU. We are as strong as our weakest link.

Officiating has taught me much these past few years – we must understand and follow the rulebook. For us, this means that we read and understand the University’s Administrative policy book. I have started a custom at all ICT management meetings where we spend a few minutes reading and discussing a portion of the policy book. I encourage you to understand the university policies when you have time or need.

Even though I am a product from within, I plan to visit the campus community with an open mind about how things could be done better. ICT and ACANS have many challenges and expectations from our community. It is important to take the pulse of that body to best understand how we can better serve this fine institution.
I look forward to working with you. Happy Computing


ACANS Newscenter is published by the Association of Computing and Networking Services at New Mexico State University. If you would like to subscribe to the ACANS Newscenter, request further information, or to submit articles of interest contact ICT Strategic Relations, 646-4857  email:

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