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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Director of ACIST

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

MIS department head Mohan Tanniru named director of Arizona Center for Information Science and Technology (ACIST) at The University of Arizona

Tanniru’s proven partnerships with the business community and his leadership in information technology position ACIST to impact the economy in Arizona and beyond.

TUCSON, Ariz. – April 12, 2005 – Mohan R. Tanniru, Ph.D. has been named director of the Arizona Center for Information Science and Technology (ACIST) at The University of Arizona, announced Richard C. Powell, UA vice president for research, graduate studies, and economic development.

Powell explained the role of ACIST: “ACIST is one of The University of Arizona's major investments of the Technology Research Initiative Fund (TRIF). It supports the University's academic and research programs in information technology and is one of the ways we are contributing to the implementation of the state's economic development roadmap in the areas of advanced communications and information technology.”

Tanniru has been serving on the ACIST management team and has played a key role in the formulation of the ACIST Business Plan. “I am pleased that Professor Mohan Tanniru has accepted the responsibility for leadership of ACIST,” Powell continued. “He has a distinguished record of accomplishment in the field of information technology and a proven ability to develop university-industry collaborations. Through his leadership I am confident that ACIST will become closely connected with local information technology companies and have a significant impact on the economic development of the region.”

Tanniru joined the Eller College of Management as head of the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department in December 2002—a department that has held a top-5 position in the national U.S. News & World Report rankings since the inception of the Information Systems category 16 years ago. Tanniru’s accomplishments have been significant since coming to the UA; he has grown the MIS advisory board of business leaders, created a new master’s degree concentration in MIS and entrepreneurship to address the changing business landscape in IT, and led the effort to hold a major information technology conference in Tucson last November. Themed “Shaping the Future of IT,” the event brought together hundreds of academic scholars, business, and government leaders to mark the 30th anniversary of The University of Arizona’s MIS department and to foster collaborations between multiple disciplines such as law, life sciences, engineering, medicine, and computer science to shape the IT agenda for the next decade.

Ron Schott, who held two careers in the IT industry—first in management positions with IBM and more recently with AOL, where he built an Arizona-based development center and ran IT for AOL’s Member Services Group—has confidence in Tanniru’s ability to deliver real progress and results. “Tanniru has been a change agent to effectively link business with academia; he has collaborated both internally across UA colleges, departments, and research programs, and externally with business and government organizations,” Schott said. “It is his ability to bring academic research together with the needs and challenges of business and government that make him the right individual to lead ACIST. ACIST’s new business plan builds the foundation from which The University of Arizona’s IT research capabilities can be leveraged to impact the development of Arizona’s economy.”

ACIST, formerly known as the Internet Technology Design and Commerce Institute, was established by The University of Arizona in 2001 as a Technology Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) with earmarked funding from Proposition 301. ACIST is a collaboration among five UA colleges: College of Engineering, Eller College of Management, College of Science, College of Fine Arts, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

In explaining the critical role of ACIST in the evolving world of advanced communications and technology, Tanniru said, “The vision of ACIST is to make information systems user-centric through innovative research that connects to the success of businesses and the economic development of the state, resulting in an expansion of the capabilities of the workforce. In today’s Internet and wireless-driven environments, users in all business sectors are inundated with data that is coming from a multitude of sources in various forms, with no assurance that this data is relevant and secure.”

He added, “I am honored to work with an outstanding ACIST management team, business advisory board, and renowned faculty who are the experts in information technology research. Working together, we will pursue leading-edge research that impacts the economy and the capabilities of its workforce.”

Due to the complimentary agendas of ACIST and the Department of Management Information Systems in research, outreach, and economic development, Tanniru will continue to serve as MIS Department Head. He can be reached at or 520.621.2429.

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