After a search of nearly two years Auckland University of Technology has found its first chair of e-business.Bill Doolin will be the first Microsoft professor of e-business. The post, part-funded by the software firm, would have been a first for academia, had AUT not been beaten to the punch by Victoria during its search which began in November 2000.
Business faculty head Des Graydon says the search was hampered by higher salaries available overseas and in the private sector. The post pays between $90,000 and $110,000.
AUT has also appointed a head for its relatively new school of information technology and a professor of knowledge engineering and discovery.
Auckland-born Doolin, 40, has a background in information systems and organisational studies from Waikato Management School, where he has taught and done research for much of the past 10 years. He helped develop the university’s e-business courses. His research covered the adoption and implementation of e-commerce, the use of the web in tourism and marketing organisations, justifying investments in e-business technologies and internet-based electronic data interchanges for smaller enterprises.
He is reviewing AUT’s e-business courses, before developing post-graduate courses for launch next year. Doolin’s role also involves encouraging further e-business research, mentoring staff and students and helping them generate collaborative work with industry, including the firm that helps fund his position.
“It is early days yet, but Microsoft is keen to meet me and talk about projects we can work together with,” he says.
The IT school has also just appointed its first head, Steve MacDonell, former professor of software at Otago University, along with fellow Otago academic Nik Kasabov as professor of knowledge engineering and discovery.