News & Press: InSider

The AIS Mid-career Mentoring Workshop at ICIS 2013

Monday, February 3, 2014  

At ICIS 2013, the Association for Information Systems introduced a new pre-ICIS workshop for mid-career faculty.  The workshop, which was co-chaired by Georgia Tech Professor Sandra Slaughter and Clemson University Professor Jason Thatcher, provided advice and information for participants who are at a mid-point in their academic careers and are seeking advice and information about different career options after tenure.

Mentoring at mid-career is valuable as there are many viable career paths that faculty can pursue after obtaining tenure. Identifying possible career paths, describing the paths, and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each path are important, but not well communicated in the IS community. 

The workshop design included two panels in which distinguished panelists described their career choices and reflections. Panelists on the first panel discussed "internal” roles they took on within their university (such as department chair, associate dean or research center director), why they decided to take on the role, the nature of the role and skills required, and the benefits and limitations of undertaking the role for their careers. Panelists on the second panel discussed "external” roles they undertook in the larger academic community or practitioner community (such as significant editorial roles, leadership roles in a professional association, or serving as a company board member), why they decided to take on the role, the nature of the role and the skills required, and the benefits and limitations of undertaking the role for their careers. Each panel was followed by facilitated discussions with the panelists.

Panelists for the inaugural workshop included: Susan Brown, University of Arizona, U.S.A; Wynne Chin, University of Houston, U.S.A.; Brian Fitzgerald, University of Limerick, Ireland; Shirley Gregor, Australian National University, Australia; Laurie Kirsch, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.; Eldon Li, National Chengchi University, Taiwan;  V. Sambamurthy, Michigan State University, U.S.A.; Christina Soh, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; and Edgar Whitley, London School of Economics, U.K. The panelists are high profile members of the AIS community representing all three regions who have followed various careers as senior scholars (e.g., as administrators, editors, directors of research centers, etc.). Understanding their career paths, the choices they have made, and their reflections on the advantages and disadvantages of those choices, provided valuable insights to workshop attendees.

The workshop concluded with reflections on "lessons learned” by the participants. More than 60 individuals (including the organizers and panelists) registered for the inaugural workshop. Plans are to continue to hold the workshop at future ICIS conferences. 


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