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05-10-2001

Professors Chorba And Kaczka To Be Honored With Emeritus Status At Commencement

Ronald W. Chorba of Winthrop, a professor of management information systems, and Eugene E. Kaczka of Hannawa Falls, a professor of operations and production management, will each be given the title professor emeritus in honor of, and appreciation for, their years of service to the University.

Chorba came to Clarkson in 1976 from the University of Calgary. He has served as chair of the Accounting, Marketing, and Management Information Systems (MIS) departments, and has made noteworthy contributions in areas of information technology including management information systems, decision-support systems, and database management. In addition, Chorba initiated participation in the Oracle Educational Alliance.

Chorba said his role in helping to found the MIS program and developing its undergraduate and graduate curriculum was one of his proudest moments.

We didn't have one when I came here, said Chorba. "I worked to establish the program and it was successful at first. But then, a downturn in enrollment really threatened it and it was on the verge of being cancelled. I fought to keep it alive, and now it's one of the better programs in the business school. I was pleased to have a role in that."

The MIS program, because it merges computer and network technology with business process technology, is the most promising growth area for instruction at Clarkson, says Chorba. "A wide range of student abilities and interest fall within the scope of MIS."

Chorba also mentioned the funding he received from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, which, in part, helped Chorba become a founder and adviser to the Internet Consulting Group (ICG). The group gives Clarkson students of different majors the chance to work with small businesses in the North Country and to teach World Wide Web skills to elementary and secondary school teachers.

They're a thriving student organization now, he said. "The ICG is a natural outgrowth of the MISprogram, but it attracts students from all computer-related areas at Clarkson, both undergraduate and graduate. Our objective has been to give students experience solving real problems. It was my personal objective to encourage ICG to be student-managed. We are achieving both objectives. I loved being involved and take a lot of satisfaction from the achievements of the students."

Chorba said his post-Clarkson plans aren't definite, although he plans to, in his words, play a little bit."I've always liked hiking, so there's some hiking trips that I want to take including completion of the Arizona trail. I'll wait and see what happens. If something comes along that I'll enjoy, I'll do it," says Chorba.

I tried to foster an atmosphere of innovative education, said Kaczka of his tenure as dean, which concluded in 1991. "We instituted a variety of undergraduate majors that were not in existence when I came here, including the management information systems, marketing and finance majors."

Kaczka cited other accomplishments, including his role in getting the Center for Canadian-U.S. Business Studies off the ground, forging links with graduate management programs in Europe, the expansion of the summer manufacturing program from six students to 60 in a span of seven years and the complete overhaul of the MBA program.

The program is continuing to evolve, he said. "Looking at the future, it has opportunities to build its strengths in the area of technology and e-commerce. I think it fills a very specific niche. What we do is we add value to kids who may have had some foundation in introductory business and significantly enhance their career opportunities in the job market."

Besides teaching, Kaczka has been sought after as a visiting lecturer and a consultant, teaching in Canada, France, Hong Kong and The Netherlands and consulting or providing training to companies ranging from Federal Express and General Electric to Brazil's Office of Education and the Tennessee Bar Association.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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