Faculty note: Bansal
Associate Prof. Gaurav Bansal of the Cofrin School of Business, who served as president of the Midwest Association for Information Systems for the year just ending, was among the featured speakers at the 10th annual conference of the association held at Pittsburg State (Kans.) University on May 14 and 15. In his talk, Bansal highlighted the importance of regional conferences, and how they help build bridges between IS experts and their stakeholders. He highlighted that regional conferences are relatively low-budget and facilitate relationship building with the “local” industry leaders and CIOs, community, government agencies, and university administration as well. Such bridge-building exercises are generally not possible with larger conferences which can only go to bigger cities, often cost more to attend, and are generally not accessible to undergraduate students. He stressed that such regional conferences are increasingly important in an era of declining state funding, and he emphasized the need to reinforce ties with stakeholders. He highlighted that the Information Systems discipline is unique since issues such as digitization and privacy/security involve all cross-sections of society, providing a unique opportunity to involve those various stakeholders — which happens to make Information Systems research and teaching more relevant and rigorous at the same time.