Mark E. McMurtrey

 Mark E. McMurtrey, professor of management information systems and Master of Business Administration program director at the University of Central Arkansas, has been awarded the Southwest Decision Sciences Institute (SWDSI) Outstanding Educator Award.

On behalf of the SWDSI, the Federation of Business Disciplines presents the award each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the decision sciences discipline. 

The SWDSI is a division of the Decision Sciences Institute, a professional organization made up of those interested in sharing research on the study of decision processes and the application of quantitative and behavioral methods to the problems of society. The Outstanding Educator Award is one of the most prestigious honors presented by the Federation of Business Disciplines and SWDSI. 

“It generally takes many years or decades to be able to win something like this,” said McMurtrey, who received the award in San Antonio at the organization’s annual meeting in March. “Knowing that my name will be forever linked with these other winners is absolutely humbling and quite an honor. I know my family is proud of me, and my late parents as well.”

McMurtrey has served as program chair for the SWDSI’s 2017 conference and served as the organization’s president from 2019-20.

He is in his 19th year as professor at UCA and fifth year as MBA director. He began his journey as an educator at the University of Arkansas in 1985 and has served as a faculty member at Francis Marion University, the University of South Carolina and the University of Idaho.

He has provided consulting for Fortune 500 firms and has published articles in numerous journals. He has also served as adviser for UCA’s Business and Information Technology Club for more than 17 years. 

“To get to prepare the future leaders of tomorrow and see them succeed as the years go by is probably the most meaningful thing to me,” he said. “Watching them grow is quite rewarding, knowing that I played perhaps a small but significant role in it.”

McMurtrey said the colleagues, deans and department chairs he’s worked with over the years have demonstrated support of his service goals and research on personnel matters relating to information systems employees, systems development processes and matching employer skill set requirements with recent college graduates.

“There is an old saying that if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” he said. “That is true for me. I enjoy all of the people I work with from the dean’s office to the housekeeping staff. I know all of them by name and enjoy my relationships that have been formed over the years.”