The College of Business at UCCS recently welcomed Dahui Li, Ph.D., as the J. Daniel Couger Endowed Chair of Information Systems. As the Couger Chair, Li works closely with his colleagues to evolve curriculum within the Business Analysis department and maintain industry connections in the areas of Information Systems, Cybersecurity Management, and Business Analytics.
“I also devote myself to mentoring junior faculty and students,” said Li, “just as Dr. Couger and Dr. Gary Klein [previous J. Daniel Couger Endowed Chair], have done for the College of Business.”
A major priority for Li is to honor the legacy of the J. Daniel Couger Endowment, and J. Daniel Couger specifically.
“In my professional discipline, everyone knows about Dr. Couger. He was one of the forefathers and leading experts. His seminal work and exceptional contributions to the global information systems community were widely recognized. He was among the first four scholars who were awarded the highest award in my field, the Association for Information Systems (AIS) LEO Awards. It is truly an honor and privilege for me to be hired as the Couger Chair,” Li said
Couger was amongst the founding faculty members of UCCS, the first Distinguished Professor at UCCS, established the Center for Research on Creativity and Innovation, and worked for the College of Business for 31 years. On top of this, he authored 18 books and 190 papers, and lectured in more than 60 countries on six continents.
One way Li intends to honor Couger is by researching his accomplishments directly.
“Right now I am working on a project with Dr. Morgan Shepherd, Professor of Information Systems and Mary Rupp, UCCS Archives Librarian, to collect library resources and write a research article about Dr. Couger for the History Department of the Association for Information Systems,” he explained.
As a means to recognize Couger’s numerous achievements, the J. Daniel Couger Endowment was established to enable the pursuit of activities that extend traditional boundaries of academic endeavor to make a difference in the lives of learners. The endowment prioritizes the connection between research and industry in order to have a positive impact on students’ educations. The job market and career opportunities for students pursuing Information Systems, Cybersecurity Management, and Business Analytics focused pathways evolves at a rapid pace.
Prior to joining UCCS, Li was a professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He worked at UMD for 21 years.
Li was the chair of the Department of Finance and Management Information Systems (FMIS) from June 2011 to May 2017, serving about twenty faculty members who were in the areas of finance, MIS, business communication, and operations management, as well as more than 300 students in the majors of finance, MIS majors, financial markets and financial planning.
In the area of international education, Li initiated several collaborative relationships between UMD and Chinese universities. He led more than 100 students to study in China during the summertime from 2008 to 2018 and hosted at least one doctoral student or visiting scholar at UMD every year for more than 10 years. Li also served as a member on the faculty advisory board of UMD’s International Education Office.
Li has received multiple awards and honors including Professor of the Year Award, Beta Gamma Sigma, UMD Chapter (2023), President-elect, Midwest Association for Information Systems (2023), and UMD Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Research (2022).
When asked what drew him to the UCCS College of Business, Li stated, “I found, during the job interview process, that the College of Business has established an inclusive work environment that is deeply committed to student success and employee wellbeing and development. The campus is instilled with a culture that values students, faculty, staff, and community members from different backgrounds and traditions.”
“Second,” Li continued, “collaborations are valued in the College of Business. I noticed how staff members and faculty collaborated in my job interview process. There were a lot of active discussions and collaborations among faculty in terms of developing programs and curricular, sharing effective teaching strategies, and improving teaching effectiveness and assessment. There is also a high level of research collaboration among faculty within or across different disciplines.”
“Third,” Li added, “There is an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit on campus. Faculty and staff seem to be constantly looking for new ways of doing their work. The university provides strong support for funding and grant applications. Faculty introduce new curriculum and integrate emerging technologies into their teaching and learning environment. There are extensive connections to industries and local communities too.”
It’s no secret that the information technology industry has grown (and will continue to grow) as technology, including artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cybersecurity, becomes more integral to consumers’ daily lives —particularly in space/cyber-defense hubs like Colorado Springs. Amidst this growth, the College of Business can only benefit from Li’s expertise, guidance and dedication.
About the UCCS College of Business
The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit uccs.edu/business.