Distinguished IS Educator Award

2014 Award Winner

Albert L. Harris

Al Harris

Albert L. (Al) Harris is a Professor of Computer Information Systems (CIS) in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. He was elected an AITP-EDSIG Fellow in 2010. He has taught a variety of information systems (IS) courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Appalachian State University since 1989 and served as Department Chair 1998-2001. He has been a pioneer in CIS curriculum development at Appalachian State University and created and taught the first capstone course in CIS, the first CASE tools class, and the first Global Information Technology class. He received his B.S. in Quantitative Business Analysis from Indiana University, his M.S. in Administration (Systems Management) from the George Washington University, and his Ph.D. in MIS from Georgia State University. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Harris owned his own information technology consulting company, Management/Systems Advisors, Inc., providing consulting services to a wide variety of companies and educational institutions throughout the Southeast. Prior to that, he spent 8 years as a consultant, manager, and finally Regional Director of Consulting at two CPA firms and was a technical support analyst at RCA’s computer division. After graduating from Indiana University, he spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps with a combat tour in Vietnam, attaining the rank of Captain.

Dr. Harris was a Fulbright Scholar to Portugal in 2006, teaching graduate classes at the University of Évora, Évora, Portugal. In addition, he has taught and lectured at numerous educational institutions around the world, including an invited lecturer to Northeastern University in Shenyang, China (2013), a visiting lecturer at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland (2011), an exchange professor at the University of Angers, Angers, France (2008-2009 academic year), a visiting professor at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria (2007-2010), and as an Adjunct Professor for graduate classes at military bases in Lakenheath, England and Heidelberg, Germany (2001).

Dr. Harris has a distinguished record of service to the profession. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Information Systems Education (JISE) from 2000-2010. In 2012, he served as Guest Editor for an issue on Ethics & Social Responsibility in IS Education for JISE. He is currently Editor Emeritus of JISE. He served as AITP/EDSIG Treasurer 1998-2001 and was a member of the AITP/EDSIG Board of Directors 1998-2010 and was Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Academy of Information Management (IAIM), the Special Interest Group for Education of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) from 2005-2013. He was one of two AIS representatives, along with two ACM representatives, on a Task Force to review the need to revise the MSIS 2006 Model Curriculum during 2012-2013. He was co-track chair for the Curriculum and Education in IS track at the 2013 ICIS conference in Milan, Italy. In December 2012, he was the initial recipient of the Association of Information Systems Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Systems Education. This award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to IS education. He has served as Secretary of the International Governing Body of Alpha Iota Mu, the International Honor Society for Information Systems students, since 2008. He was awarded the College of Business Faculty Award for Excellence in Service in 2006. He served as Secretary of the Southeast Chapter of the Decision Sciences Institute in 2000-2001.

Dr. Harris was co-editor of a book titled Managing Global Information Technology: Strategies and Challenges and has authored or coauthored ten book chapters in nine different books. He has published articles in the Journal of Information Systems Education, Information & Management, International Journal of Management, Journal Computer Information Systems, Journal of Management Counseling, the Review of Accounting Information Systems, International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education, and in more than 25 international, national and regional conference proceedings. His research focuses on IS education, global information technology, and Information Technology ethics. He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Systems Professional (CSP), a Certified Data Processor (CDP), and a Certified Computing Professional (CCP). He was part of a team of 4 to secure an $186,000 grant titled "Bringing Offshore Outsourcing Management to the Carolinas (BOOM-Carolinas)" from the Business and International Education Program of the Department of Education and part of a team of 5 to secure a grant from the National Science Foundation for $55,305 to develop a Teaching Laboratory within the College of Business.

Dr. Harris is an advocate of global studies. In addition to teaching at numerous universities outside the U.S., he has lead study abroad trips for students to India, Poland, China, and France and co-lead a trip to Japan and Taiwan. He was an invited speaker at conferences in Taiwan, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He has traveled extensively, having visited all 50 states and over 90 different countries. He uses the knowledge gained from his travels frequently in his classes. He and his wife, Jackie, have one daughter who is a retired Lt. Col. in the US Air Force currently living in Colorado and another daughter who is currently Deputy Ambassador and Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.