Fifteenth President of AIS: Bernard Tan
Upon being elected president, Bernard C.Y. Tan observed that AIS was being recognized for research excellence much more than teaching excellence (even though its members should excel in both). He therefore supported the creation of teaching awards that recognize various forms of teaching scholarship. In his AIS Insider messages, he often recognized the efforts of members who had made valuable teaching contributions (e.g., curricula, novel teaching materials or methods, and educational outreach to developing regions). These messages also served to encourage members to come forward and contribute. Contributing to AIS’ work is critical because the association cannot function well without the efforts of volunteers.
He believes that the health of an association can be seen from its financial strength. Hence, he made it a point to improve the financial position of AIS during his term in office. Recognizing that it may not be ideal for AIS to rely on conferences as the main source of income, he emphasized the need to cultivate alternative sources of income. In particular, membership dues (that would depend on member attraction and retention), journal subscriptions (that would depend on subscriptions to the AIS eLibrary by institutional subscribers), and corporate sponsorships are good alternative sources of income. To help cultivate these sources of income, he continues to serve on the Member Services Committee and the Publications Committee after his term in office. He previously served as a Region 3 (Asia-Pacific) representative in the AIS Council (2004-2006) and on the Nominating Committee (1999, 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2011).
Bernard Tan actively contributes to research scholarship in the field. He served as senior editor of MIS Quarterly (2004-2007), senior editor of Journal of the AIS (2006-2011), department editor of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (2008-Present), associate editor of Management Science (2005-2008), editorial board member of Journal of the MIS (2006-Present), and advisory board member of Information Systems Research (2011-Present). He is program co-chair for ICIS 2014 and was the doctoral consortium co-chair for ICIS (2010), program track co-chair for ICIS (2004, 2006, and 2007), program co-chair for PACIS (2006), and program track co-chair for PACIS (2005).
At the National University of Singapore (NUS), Bernard Tan is the associate provost in charge of undergraduate education (2009-Present). He served on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee (2009-2011), the University Committee on Educational Policy (2008-Present), and the University Teaching Excellence Committee (2004-2008). He was the associate editor of ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems (2011-Present). He is a fellow of the Teaching Academy (2009-Present) and was its former executive council chairman (2009). He previously served as head of the Department of Information Systems (2002-2008) and as assistant dean of the School of Computing (2000-2002). Outside of NUS, he has been a visiting scholar in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University (1996-1997) and the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia (1992). He is a distinguished honorary professor of Fudan University in China (2009-2012) and a guest professor of Renmin University in China (2009-2012).
Bernard Tan was a winner of the NUS Outstanding Educator Award (2004) (the highest university teaching award), the NUS Teaching Excellence Award (2003), the NUS Young Researcher Award (2002) (the highest university research award for faculty members below the age of 40), and the NUS School of Computing Teaching Excellence Award (2000). He was a runner-up in the ICIS doctoral dissertation competition (1995) and was an ICIS doctoral consortium fellow (1993).
He is the author of more than 100 research papers, which appeared in every major journal and conference in the field. In a paper arising from research related to his doctoral dissertation (Management Science, 1998), he demonstrated the cultural relativism of the body of knowledge in the field. He used comparative experiments to show that the use of computer-mediated communication, and therefore the effects, would be contingent upon cultural norms. This study opens up a broad question about the generalizability of research results to other cultural settings and gives impetus to a steady stream of cross-cultural research in the field. He did his doctoral studies under the supervision of Kwok-Kee Wei and Richard Watson, who were the 9th president and the 10th president of AI,S respectively.
As hobbies, Bernard Tan enjoys badminton and swimming as well as singing in karaoke lounges. He welcomes colleagues in the field to take him out to these karaoke sessions in the evenings during conferences.
BSc (Hons), 1989, MSc 1991, and PhD, 1995, all at National University of Singapore.