UNO Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis wins university-wide teaching award
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis has been selected to receive the 2011 University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA) from the University of Nebraska, NU President James B. Milliken announced today.

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“The Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis is a highly deserving recipient of this award,” Milliken said. “The department and its faculty have demonstrated a deep commitment to excellence in teaching, collaboration and innovation which benefits not only our students and the university, but Omaha and the state as well.”

The UDTA originated in 1993 and is designed to recognize a department or unit within the University of Nebraska that has made unique and significant contributions to the university’s teaching efforts. The honored department is awarded $25,000 to be used in a manner the department sees fit, such as for travel to a conference, instructional equipment or improvements to a classroom or student resource center.

Part of the College of Information Science & Technology, the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis has a three-pronged mission:
  • Teaching that provides students with the skills they need to succeed as information systems specialists in a rapidly changing technological environment;
  • Research that leads to new knowledge to help organizations prosper as they confront changes in technology; and
  • Outreach that includes educational and training opportunities for Omaha-area residents and dissemination of knowledge to the community.
At the time of its nomination, the department had 15 full-time faculty. The department offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in management information systems and supports other UNO academic programs as well. In 2009-2010, 260 undergraduates and 135 graduate students were enrolled as management information systems majors. MIS graduates generally pursue careers as business systems analysts, systems designers, application and website developers, database administrators, computer network managers, information technology managers and consultants, information technology auditors and many others.

One of the hallmark characteristics of the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis is the high level of collaboration among its faculty members. Faculty share course materials and information on best practices, develop common rubrics together, “team teach” some courses, and more – strategies that allow the department to leverage the unique talents of each faculty member to create a cohesive, high-quality experience for students. Distance education is one particular area where collaboration has resulted in success for the department. Development of distance courses is a time-consuming process, but the department’s faculty willingly share their knowledge and resources, allowing the department to make its programs accessible to students in Omaha and across Nebraska and the world. The department’s undergraduate degree is now available entirely online.

The department provides strong support for students. An undergraduate mentoring program pairs students with an individual faculty member to provide a personal connection, for example, and the department has strong relationships with local businesses that sponsor internships. The department’s faculty also are committed to enhancing their teaching through professional development activities, and they regularly author conference papers, journal articles and textbooks.

The department will be honored during a ceremony later in the spring.

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