Knotts named CIO; Jalso to retire next year, support transition to new chief information security officer | E-News
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Knotts named CIO; Jalso to retire next year, support transition to new chief information security officer | E-News

After a successful interim appointment, Brice Knotts has been named the University’s permanent associate vice president and chief information officer. Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop said the appointment reflects Knotts’ success in strengthening collaborative partnerships across the institution and in establishing a long-term vision for the role of technology in the University’s future. 

Knotts already plays a critical leadership role in the WVU Modernization Program, overseeing Information Technology Services and supporting many of the projects that will occur over the next five to seven years. The program aims to prepare WVU for future challenges by establishing a strong, flexible foundation built on modern technology and efficient, effective business processes that support an engaging student experience.

With the CIO in place, interim appointments also become permanent for Jerod Hall, ITS Executive Director for Enterprise Applications, and Neil Jones, ITS Director of Technology Planning. Longtime Chief Information Security Officer Alex Jalso, meanwhile, plans to retire in mid-July 2023, wrapping up 30 years of service to the University. WVU will soon begin a national search for a new chief information security officer (CISO), and Jalso will assist with the transition. 

The WVU Modernization Project team has been working on a new information security strategy roadmap, and the CISO will be a critical hire as that process continues. Knotts hopes to have the new CISO join his ITS leadership team by January 2023. The job will be posted in the coming weeks. 

WVU will be looking for an experienced, collaborative leader who can help create a culture in which information security is a shared responsibility across the enterprise. As WVU builds out the information security program, it will need someone with a proven ability to balance risk with usability and the organization’s mission. 

Knotts, who was named deputy CIO and executive director for enterprise applications in September 2019, was appointed to the interim CIO role in April 2021. In that capacity, he assumed responsibility for advising the University’s senior leadership on technology issues and providing day-to-day operational oversight of ITS. 

Knotts has been with WVU for 27 years, starting as a manager of administrative networking in 1995 and moving to assistant director of Student Affairs IT in 1999. He became associate director of that unit a year later, then director in 2007. Knotts was named director of the former Student Systems Management (SSM) group in March 2012, then executive director for enterprise infrastructure in April 2015 after ITS was created by the merger of SSM, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Administrative Technology Solutions (ATS) group. Student Life IT and Research IT subsequently joined ITS.

Knotts has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from WVU, as well as a master’s in business administration.