MIS Departmental Timeline

Click on the year to view its timeline.

1970    1980    1990    2000


2017 -  (1) MIS initiates and leads the process for the university to become a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through 2022. This designation is held at the University of Arizona level. (2) Dr. Sudha Ram is awarded $1.7M grant for Digital Archaeology Project to Use Big Data. 

2016 - MIS Department head - Dr. Paulo Goes - becomes Eller College's ninth dean. Read about his appointment here. MIS Professor, Dr. Sue Brown becomes the permanent department head.

2014 - MIS initiates and leads the process for the university to become a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD) to 2021, as cited by the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program (NIETP) office under the authority of the U.S. National Security Agency. This designation is held at the University of Arizona level.

2000 - The Mark and Susan Hoffman E-Commerce Lab opens with a $1 million gift from alumnus Mark Hoffman of CommerceOne. Dr. Hsinchun Chen is the Director of the lab. The lab established one of the best enterprise computing environments in business schools.

2000 - Dr. Chen founded the Knowledge Computing Corporation, a UA spin-off company that commercializes the COPLINK system. KCC has become one of the largest law enforcement information sharing and data mining systems in US and has been adopted in more than 1,600 agencies. In Fall 2011 Dr. Chen's spinoff was acquired by IBM for $500 million dollars.

2004 - Dr. James F. LaSalle retires. Jim started teaching at the UofA in 1964 and his "specialty" class was MIS111. According to UA’s Alumni Association Jim has taught over 50,000 students during his UA teaching career! As a result of his outstanding contributions to students, the MIS department has initiated two student awards on his behalf. The James F. LaSalle Teaching Award and the  LaSalle-Chen Scholarship . In addition, he was named the first University Distinguished Professor.

2008 National Center for Border Security and Immigration opens. Jay Nunamaker co-leads a team of research Universities and receives $15 million over six years. BORDERS is a consortium of 14 premier institutions that is dedicated to the development of innovative technologies, proficient processes, and effective policies that will help protect our Nation’s borders, foster international trade, and enhance long-term understanding of immigration determinants and dynamics.

2009 - Dark Web Research Center, part of the AI Lab, opens funded by a multi-million dollar NSF grant. The lab mission is a long-term scientific research program that aims to study and understand the international terrorism (Jihadist) phenomena via a computational, data-centric approach.

2009 - National Center for Border Security and Immigration (BORDERS) opens. A multi-million dollar, multi-university research center whose research will be led by Jay F. Nunamaker Jr. The center will focus on new technologies such as surveillance, screening, data fusion and situational awareness using sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and other technologies. The center also will provide research on population dynamics, immigration administration and enforcement, operational analysis, control and communications, immigration policy, civic integration and citizenship, border risk management and international governance.

2009 - iPlant Collaborative grant received. Funded by a $50 million NSF grant, it was one of the largest NSF grants ever awarded to an Arizona entity. Principal project personnel included Drs. Sudha Ram (as Co Principal Investigator and Cyberinfrastructure Development, Integrated Solutions Team co-leader) and Sue Brown as Social Networking lead. The project entailed a global center and computer cyberinfrastructure within which to answer plant biology's grand challenge questions, which no single research entity in the world had the capacity to address. The project, later renamed CyVerse, unites plant scientists, computer scientists and information scientists from around the world to provide answers to questions of global importance and advance all of these fields.

2009 - National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education opens. The goal of this center is to help reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in information assurance. The center was approved by the National Information Assurance Education and Training Program under the authority of the U.S. National Security Agency.

2009 - MIS Department Celebrates it's 35th Anniversary. 

2011 - INSITE (Business Intelligence and Analytics Center) is formed.

2012 - MicroAge Lab and MIS Commons dedicated.

2013 - 1.) Dr. Hsinchun Chen Appointed and Inducted as UA Regent's Professor, 2.)  Dr. Hsinchun Chen Named UA's 2013 Innovator of the Year 3.) Dr. Hsinchun Chen Named the Thomas R. Brown Endowed Chair in Management and Technology4.)  Sudha Ram Named Anheuser-Busch Endowed Chair

Department receives $5.4M cybersecurity and big data grants.

2014 - MIS Celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a two day celebration. Dr. Hsinchun Chen named NSF Lead Program Director of the NSF (National Science Foundation) Smart and Connected Health (SCH) Program.

Faculty include:  

Alexandra Durcikova, Bin Zhang, Brandon Marshall, Daniel Zeng, Daniel Zeng, David E. Pingry, David Meader, Eyran J. Gisches, Faiz Currim, Gondy Leroy, Hsinchun Chen, J. Leon Zhao, James F. LaSalle, Jay F. Nunamaker, Jesse Bockstedt, Joseph S. Valacich, Junming Yin, Kurt Fenstermacher, Laura Brandimarte, Mark Ginsberg, Mark Patton, Matt Thatcher,  Matthew J. Hashim, Mingfeng Lin, Moshe Dror, Olivia R. Liu Zheng, Pamela Slaten, Patti Ota, Paulo Goes, Queen Booker, Sherry Thatcher, Sudha Ram, Sue Brown, Suzie Weisband, Therani Madhusudan, Wei Chen, William Neumann, Yong Ge, and Zhu Zhang

Department heads include: Mohan Tanniru, J. Leon Zhao, Paulo Goes, and Sue Brown


  • #1 in Top Performing Individual Programs by Academic Analytics
  • #1 in Research Productivity by Decision Line Survey
  • #1 in Faculty's Scholarly Productivity by The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Top ten placement in U.S. News and World Report for both undergraduate and master's programs
  • #9 globally in IT (information technology) specialty category by Financial Times
  • Exceptional by UofA's Graduate Council
  • Top 25 Techno-MBA by ComputerWorld magazine for MIS/MBA joint degree program
  • View Current rankings here


- MIS Department moves to its new (and current) home in McClelland Hall

- MIS Board of Advisors established to build coalition between the department and the corporate community for the purpose of increasing collaboration and communication.

- Arizona Public Service Technical Classroom opens in McClelland Hall providing MIS with an industry leading facility for group meeting research and collaboration.

- Jay F. Nunamaker recognized as a Regent’s Professor by the Arizona Board of Regents for his ground breaking research.

1990 - Dr. Hsinchun Chen founded the Artificial Intelligence Lab, which has become an internationally renowned lab in information systems, digital library, biomedical informatics, security informatics, and business intelligence.

1994 - Advanced Database Research Group (ADRG) Lab opened. Under the direction of Sudha Ram, the lab focuses on semantic interoperability, heterogeneous database integration, distributed database design, semantic modeling in domains including bioinformatics, and business Rules modeling for Supply Chain Management. The lab’s work also examines modeling of temporal and spatial databases.

1997 - Dr. Hsinchun Chen and the Tucson Police Department received the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) award to develop the COPLINK system. The system was designed to assist in cross-jurisdictional information sharing, analysis, visualization and research for the law enforcement and intelligence community for border and national security.

Faculty include:  Ai-Mei Chng, Anindya Datta, Byungtae Lee, Daniel Zeng, David R. Meader, Douglas Vogel, Hsinchun Chen, J. Leon Zhao, James F. LaSalle, Janny M.Y. Leung, Matt Thatcher, Moshe Dror, Pamela Slaten, Patti Ota, Sarma Nidumolu, Seymour Goodman, Sudha Ram, and Suzie Weisband

Department heads include: David Pingry and Olivia R. Liu Sheng

Rankings include:

  • Recognition by Decision Line as the top international program for MIS research productivity
  • 2nd in Database magazine’s “Top Institutional Representation in MIS Literature” over the last decade
  • U.S. News and World Report top five placement for both undergraduate and master's programs


1985 - Center for the Management of Information (CMI) opens. Under the direction of Jay F. Nunamaker, CMI has established itself as a world a leader in the research and development of collaboration processes and technologies.

1987 – CMI opens its Executive Decision Center as a state-of-the-art facility to facilitate group focus and open exchange.

- Collaborative technology developed in the department’s CMI served as foundation for the technology spin off Ventana Corporation later known as GroupSystems.

- Multi-million dollar grants from NSF and NCR allowed MIS to establish the first three student computer labs on the UA campus.

Faculty include: Arnold J. Greenfield, Averill Law, Benn R. Konsynski, David E. Pingry, E. Sue Weber, Hsinchun Chen, James F. LaSalle, Jay F. Nunamaker, Matthew J. Saltzman, Olivia R. Liu Sheng, Richard Mason, Robert F. Schneider, Roy Marsten, Seymour Goodman, Sudha Ram, Suzie Weisband, Tim Shaftel, Wayne Eirich, and Ying-Yuh Richard Wang

Department head: Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr.


  • ComputerWorld’s inaugural national ranking of MIS programs, the UA MIS Department was awarded a prestigious 2nd place standing
  • 1989 – U.S. News and World Report begins ranking MIS programs. The MIS Department ranks third nationally


1974 – MIS Department founded by Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr., pioneered the first MIS curriculum in conjunction with Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and other schools.

Faculty include: Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr., David E. Pingry, Wayne Eirichs, Benn Konsynski and James F. LaSalle

Department head: Jay F. Nunamaker, Jr.