Fourth President of AIS: Gordon Davis
Gordon B. Davis is the Honeywell Professor of Management Information Systems Emeritus in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. His presidency focused on issues and processes in building a strong global association and enhancing AIS as the organization that speaks for the core academic field of IS. This work included discussions and activities establishing or continuing alliances with existing related organizations. A major emphasis was on negotiations to merge the 19-year old International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) into AIS. This merger required resolution of problems with an existing ICIS conference manager, and establishment of new conference procedures.
AIS finances were strengthened, and a new AIS business office was established at Georgia State University with Eph McLean as the executive director. Procedures were standardized for AIS-sponsored conferences including the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) that had been started three years earlier. Two AIS electronic journals, CAIS and JAIS, were approved and preparations made to launch them. AIS negotiated agreements with a number of additional IS related journals to make them available at significant discounts to AIS members. There were discussions and initiatives for closer relationships and alliances with related national and international IS groups such as IFIP’s Technical Committee 8 (Information Systems), the Society for Information Management (SIM), and ACM. AIS began providing liaison support for the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) and the Pacific Area Conference on Information Systems (PACIS). AIS became a sponsor of a placement service (with ICIS). It began a salary survey for IS faculty hires. AIS (as a sponsor of IS World) added material such as a faculty directory and a searchable database of IS dissertations. Proposals were developed for student and regional chapters of AIS. AIS participated in various IS curriculum activities, including a major model curriculum partnership with ACM and AITP to update IS’97.
Gordon Davis is is recognized as one of the founders of the academic discipline of information systems. In 1967, he and two colleagues at the University of Minnesota started the first formal academic degree program in MIS. This program achieved a consistent ranking as one of the top programs. He headed the doctoral program in MIS at Minnesota from 1968 through 1993 and served as advisor, co-advisor, or committee member to over 100 doctoral students.
He has lectured in 25 countries with longer term visits in Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, and the People’s Republic of China. He has published 23 books with translations in several languages and over 150 articles, monographs and book chapters. His book, Management Information Systems: Conceptual Foundations, Structure, and Development, is recognized as a classic foundational text in the field. His monograph, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation, has been used by more than 60,000 doctoral students around the world.
He became emeritus in May 2004 and remained active in research workshops, giving talks at conferences, advising doctoral students, advising faculty members, and reviewing articles and books. His perspective is shaped by his strong involvement in the major developments, nationally and internationally, in building the academic field of information systems.
He participated in and helped form most of the academic associations related to the field of management information systems. From 1982 to 2001, he was the United States representative to the International Federation for Information Processing’s Technical Committee 8 on Information Systems and served as its chair for two terms. He helped establish the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the ICIS doctoral consortium, and the international faculty-oriented Association for Information Systems (AIS). Dr. Davis was also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) curriculum committees on information systems and participated in most of its important IS model curriculum reports. He regularly reviews for the major journals in the field and was publisher for the MIS Quarterly from 1996 to 2004.
He was honored many times by his colleagues for his contributions. Among these recognitions are ACM Fellow, AIS Fellow, Information Systems Society Distinguished Fellow Award, and the AIS LEO award for lifetime achievement in the field of information systems.
BA/BS (Political Science and Accounting), 1955, Idaho State University; MBA, 1959 and PhD, 1961, Stanford University. Honorary doctorates University of Lyon, France; University of Zurich, Switzerland; and the Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden.