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OPIM head focuses on strategic use of info tech
March 2, 1998

Glancing at - or stepping over - the piles of paper in Jim Marsden's office makes one wonder if the vaunted "paperless society" is a dream. But to understand that, among the debris, is the first computer-related textbook Marsden ever owned, a book focusing on the cyber-dinosaur COBOL-1, is to recognize that, despite the paper, Marsden knows - and loves - his field.

Marsden, head of the Department of Operations and Information Management in the School of Business Administration, is a recipient of one of the first annual Chancellor's Information Technology Awards.

Marsden, who came to UConn in 1993, has already left a mark on the University in general and the School of Business Administration in particular. Since his arrival, the number of students majoring in information technology has quadrupled; he has brought nationally known faculty to the department; he was a key player in the development of the Connecticut Information Technology Institute (CITI) at UConn-Stamford; and he was instrumental in bringing a joint business/engineering major, in management and engineering for manufacturing, to fruition. He also has raised funds to develop and equip a management information systems research lab.

"Jim has accomplished all this while also being an excellent teacher and continuing his research productivity," says Thomas G. Gutteridge, dean of the business school. "I believe Jim Marsden personifies excellence in information technology."

Marsden now is focusing on the business school's plan to establish "anywhere/anytime connectivity," by the time the school's new building is open in 2000.

"My focus has always been on the strategic use of information technology. Today, IT has moved from the research lab to the classroom. Innovative applications and continual technological improvements have combined to provide environments where we can learn faster and in more depth than ever before," Marsden says.

"In OPIM, we utilize information technology to help us educate and train the future developers and users of information technology" - some of whom may even keep their UConn textbooks handy for the next 50 years.

Richard Veilleux