Marie-Claude Boudreau took over as the MIS department head mid-year, replacing Dale Goodhue. Maric has been a member of the MIS faculty for about a decade and is the fourth person to serve as department head since the founding of the program.
In my new role as head of the MIS department at UGA, it is my pleasure to invite you to peruse our fall 2012 newsletter. You’ll find lots of good news, and it is encouraging to start the year with so much going for us. For example, as you’ll read below, the latest U.S. News & World Report ranked our undergraduate program as 10th best in the nation. This metric is most definitely in line with our efforts toward providing rigorous MIS education to highly motivated students and with employers’ feedback about their preparedness.
Our students have always been a source of pride, but the recent accomplishments of our student organization, SMIS, proves that we have good reasons to be proud: indeed, for the third year in a row, SMIS has received accolades from AIS, our field’s premier professional organization. Kudos to Mark Huber, faculty adviser, and Tasha Hauke, current President, for their important roles within SMIS. I have attended a few SMIS meetings this semester, and I can attest to the enthusiasm and drive of our student body.
In addition to our students, our faculty has been up to great achievements as well. First and foremost, my predecessor, Dale Goodhue, not only did an amazing job heading our department for the past three years, but managed to do so while continuing to push forward an active research program, leading him to be selected by the Terry College of Business as the sole recipient of the 2012 Terry Outstanding Faculty Researcher. Others should be acknowledged as well: Dave Chatterjee was reelected as Chairman of the SIM Atlanta Chapter, for a fifth term; Nick Berente has collected a third research grant from NSF for his work on cyberinfrastructure; Amrit Tiwana was appointed Senior Editor at ISR, one of our premier research journals; Janine Aronson received a 25-year service award by Terry; and Rick Watson and I hosted the second conference on Energy Informatics in Atlanta. Last but not least, Mark Huber was appointed as Interim Director of the Institute of Leadership Advancement…Well, we have mixed feelings about this one; we are happy for Mark, but also dejected about him being less involved with us! We are certainly thankful for Mark’s decision to continue advising the SMIS group, and hope that it will stay this way.
Our programs are also being adjusted to the needs of the market. For example, as you’ll read below, we have devised a new concentration on business analytics for MBA students. Our MIT program is now starting a new cohort every year (as opposed to every other year). Some of our major undergraduate courses are now open to students outside Terry, thus educating many more students about MIS and prompting them to consider our program. It seems that the word is out, as the number of students applying to our major has increased dramatically this fall, such that we could not accept everyone and needed to be more selective—a good problem to have!
I, along with the entire faculty, am looking forward to a busy year. We constantly evaluate our programs to make sure that they respond to current and future market demands—for example, the need for more business analytic skills for all of our students (not only MBAs), or the extent to which Business Process Management should be a greater part of our program. We are contemplating having another Energy Informatics conference in the spring. We are working at restructuring our Advisory Board to provide even greater value to our board members. The short of it is that as we are envisioning plenty of projects and considering ideas for growth, we are also conscious that resources are scarce, and thus we will need to be creative, to prioritize, and to strategize. With this faculty, student body, and board members, I am confident that we are up to this challenge.