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December 5, 2011

IS professor and global citizen Dr. Bruce W. N. Lo to retire

Bruce Lo

Dr. Bruce Lo works with undergraduate business students on a collaborative research project concerning the regional and societal influences in ethical IT decision making in the United States and Australia. 


Please join us!

The UW-Eau Claire Department of Information Systems will host a reception for retiring faculty member Dr. Bruce W. N. Lo on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 from 11 am-1 pm in UW-Eau Claire Schneider Hall, Room 203.

The event is open to the public.

Dr. Bruce W. N. Lo, professor of information systems, will retire from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at the end of the fall 2011 semester.

Lo first came to UW-Eau Claire in Spring 2000 as a visiting professor from Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, where he was head of the School of Multimedia and Information Technology.

Dr. Bill Korn, who was then chair of UW-Eau Claire IS Department, was looking for a faculty exchange opportunity in Australia. He contacted Lo to see if he was interested. Lo, thinking it would be fun to spend a few months in the United States, agreed to the exchange for one semester.

“Bill taught my classes, stayed at my house, and drove my car; while I taught his classes here, stayed at his house, and drove his car,” explained Lo. “We often jokingly said, “We exchanged everything except our wives.”

The visiting professorship at UW-Eau Claire also work out well for Lo’s wife, Dr. Ruth Lo, a professor of nursing at Southern Cross, who was on sabbatical leave. Using Eau Claire as her base, she visited a number of research institutes in the United States and the United Kingdom during the spring semester.

Lo’s experience in Eau Claire was so positive that when the UW-Eau Claire IS Department offered him a tenure-track teaching position, he accept it. In January of 2002, Bruce and Ruth Lo returned to Eau Claire.

“It was a big move for us,” explained Lo. “Apart from a brief two years in Canada, we spent 30+ years of our working life in Australia”.

During the past nine years, Lo’s influence has been felt throughout the College of Business and the university community.

As a member of the IS department, Lo taught undergraduate and graduate courses in systems analysis and design, E-business, electronic commerce, and object-oriented systems development, a course he also developed.

Lo has played a major role in internationalizing the campus and the community. He served on key UW-Eau Claire university and college committees, such as the 2007 “Preparing Global Leaders” strategic planning work group, which made recommendations to the chancellor regarding how to create more international experiences for students, and the college’s International Business Programs Advisory Council, which facilitated the creation of an international business major, international exchange programs for business students and faculty, and the Northern Wisconsin International Trade Association. Lo mentored numerous UW-Eau Claire Chinese students and visiting faculty members. He also established and served as the first president of the Chinese Friendship and Scholarship Association, a non-profit Chippewa Valley organization which seeks to advance an understanding of and appreciation for Chinese culture.

But it is Lo’s quest for knowledge and his desire to help students develop this passion that has given him the greatest satisfaction during his time at UW-Eau Claire. An active researcher, Lo has mentored numerous student collaborative research projects. Two recent projects have resulted in students traveling with him to Australia and China to continue their research.

“At first I was skeptical about undergraduate research, because my prior experience had only been with graduate students,” said Lo. “Since coming to UW-Eau Claire, I am now sold on the concept of undergraduate research. It is so rewarding to see students motivated to do research with a faculty member. I am proud of these students who have acquired the love of knowledge for the pure joy of discovering new knowledge - an attribute which is rare among this generation of business students."

Although Lo is retiring in December, he plans to maintain an active research agenda. Recently, he established the Center for Information Technology Ethics Research Studies (CITERS), a global center for collaborative research in IT ethics. Currently, 14 researchers located in Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Turkey, and USA are members of CITERS. Lo also is developing a Wiki site on “Adventism in China”, a project which relates to his ancestral roots and his membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Lo and his wife, Ruth, plan on traveling. Since one of their children lives in the United States and the other two live in Australia, the Los plan to spend part of their time in North America and the other part “down under”.

Asked to reflect on his time at UW-Eau Claire, Lo mentions the collegiality of the faculty and staff, and the university’s focus on students, service-learning and it continued efforts to internationalize the campus and curriculum – all positive aspects for him.

“(Moving to Eau Claire) allowed us to experience a culture that is very different from what we were used to,” said Lo. “And that has enriched our life a great deal,” he continued.

Having Dr. Lo as a part of the UW-Eau Claire community has enriched our lives as well.

“Bruce has shared with the faculty and students his good-humored gentility, refined artistic sense, and reverence for the wonder that is our world,” said Dr. Thomas Hilton, chair of the UW-Eau Claire Department of Information Systems. “Through his example, he has showed us how to be better human beings as well as better professionals.”

Dr. Bruce Lo on UW-Eau Claire

Supportive colleagues. I appreciate the wonderful support I received from my colleagues across campus, and in particular in the Department of Information Systems. The collegiality the IS faculty and staff show towards each other is something I find unique at UW-Eau Claire, and it is something I hope will continue in future.

Student-focused culture. It was refreshing to experience that even the push for research at UW-Eau Claire is focused on helping student gain a scholarly experience—rather than just counting the number of publications.

Focus on service-learning. The university’s focus on service-learning really resonates with me. It is very refreshing to see this recognition in a society where the dominant political and economic news are populated by examples of “self-centric” and “navel-gazing” ideologies.

Focus on globalization. UW-Eau Claire is fortunate to have a very well developed International Education program. I fully support the importance of educating our graduates to be global citizens and take their place in our highly interconnected world.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.