Acxiom Corporation® has pledged $150,000 to the University of Central Arkansas to establish the “Acxiom Professors of MIS.” The gift will support five faculty members within the Department of Management Information Systems over the next four years. The gift was announced Tuesday during a press conference at the UCA College of Business.
“We sincerely appreciate this gift from Acxiom. This is just another example of Acxiom’s continued involvement in and generosity to UCA, but more importantly, to its commitment to the education of our students and faculty, and the overall improvement of Arkansas’s economy,” said UCA President Tom Courtway. “These funds will enable us to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty in the Management Information System program and provide our state with tomorrow’s leaders in the field.”
The department plans to use up to $37,500 per year to fulfill needs of faculty who work in close partnership with Acxiom. The funds can be used for research support, technology needs, conference travel, or any approved needs that further the department.
Professors selected for the program are Dr. Ron McGaughey, Dr. Summer Bartczak, Dr. Ken Griffin, Dr. Jim Downey and Dr. Kaye McKinzie.
Dr. McGaughey founded the Acxiom/IT Careers Camp that encourages bright Arkansas high school students to select a path of study in IT or MIS fields. Dr. Bartczak and Dr. Downey currently oversee the program. Dr. McKinzie has partnered with Acxiom in working on a project management course and business analytics. Dr. Griffin has been involved on the administrative aspect of all of these initiatives. Several of the faculty members are working on the Acxiom Task Force that has resulted in MIS curriculum redesign and alignment targeted to develop skill sets in graduates that meet the technology jobs market need, including Acxiom’s.
Between August 2011 and September 2012, UCA provided 34 interns and 18 full-time hires for Acxiom. Twenty four interns transitioned to a full-time role.