SFC's "IT" guy

Written by Joseph Matos on . Posted in Features

Dr. Dennis Anderson is a management and IT professor and a definitive intellectual.

Dr. Anderson His embracement of new technology allows him to relate to students in a practical fashion.

Anderson has learned at the world's greatest institutions like Columbia Harvard and NYU and is one of SFC's most well respected tenured professors.

Early in 1994, Anderson started as a junior faculty member before leaving in 1999. Anderson then arrived again at SFC in 2010 and is now chairman of the management and IT department.

Anderson's education started with a B.A. from Fordham University, where he then moved on to get a Master's of Science at NYU and a Master's of Education and philosophies at Columbia and finally a Ph.D. from Columbia.

He is also an alumnus of Harvard University's Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Program '05.

According to Anderson, he has been involved with SFC since before the Internet and started out as a junior faculty member in the Computer Information Systems.

Anderson is now head of the biggest department at the college.

"I came here a long, long time ago. Pre-Internet," said Anderson. "I always loved St. Francis and I always kept up with what was going on."

Anderson is self-described as a: professor, internationalist, Fulbrighter, technologist, columnist, adviser and strategist.

Anderson is also considered an expert in information technology. He is also a high-level adviser to the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development.

Anderson has been a professor for a long time. He started teaching at NYU and then became a professor of information systems and Associate Dean at Pace University and Director of the University's Center for Advanced Media.

He was also fortunate to gain experience doing international projects exposing him to the world while also doing work for Microsoft.

But Anderson then had a change of philosophy in his head.

Anderson decided he didn't want to work in the private sector or in a big university setting.

"I wanted to work at a small place making an impact. That is what this place is about small community," Anderson said.

Anderson enjoys the intimate involvement and mentoring that is possible at SFC as opposed to universities with 14,000 students.

"I wanted to work with the students face to face able to make a small impact intimate involvement and mentoring," said Anderson.

Anderson said that as an Associate Dean, he did a lot of troubleshooting and he realized he didn't want to do that anymore.

Anderson came back to SFC because of the opportunity to be Chairman of the Management and IT department.

Anderson said he always liked SFC because it is where he started his career and that his mission for his department is to prepare students for the business world they're facing. Handle any challenges and be able to pursue their career.

During the financial crisis, there were a lot of institutions that couldn't make it and were run poorly. Anderson attributes this to poor leadership and bad ethics.

"Over the last five years we have gone through so many things a lot of financial issues banking, finance ,housing all these issues are brought about because they were at the lack of real true leaders," said Anderson. "They didn't take their responsibility and they were greedy."

Anderson explained that they put profits before social good.

Essentially, Anderson wants his department to push out leaders that are socially responsible so society benefits from their actions.

"We want you to be a leader in the industry," Anderson said.

Anderson said that he balances practicality and academia.

"As a professor, you have to balance. You cannot be purely practical person because you have to build a foundation. I try to be balanced and do research," Anderson said.

Anderson then said that when he advises the United Nations, he takes his academic knowledge on E-Governance and explains it thus making it become more practical.

"I advise the United Nations on E-Governance to really help them do their job better," Anderson said.

In his eyes, there is no point in discussing it in class unless you have used it yourself.

"I practice what I preach, you have to understand current trends to understand the future," Anderson said. "If I'm going to predict about certain things and teach topics you have to base it on something you know historical data and current trends. If you're not up to date, then don't just preach about it, you have to adapt so you can pass it down to your students."

Anderson then said. "I'm not going to talk about Twitter if I'm not using it, same with Facebook."

Anderson then explained that just because you understand current technology doesn't necessarily mean you know how to apply it in certain ways.

"If you're going to be a marketing professional, you need to know how to use your social networks for business. How do you use a Twitter to market yourself?" said Anderson.

As a professor, Anderson said you don't want to just transcribe what's in your textbook.

"Anyone can read, that's not how you acquire knowledge. The acquisition of knowledge you need to do more practical things," Anderson said.

Dr. Anderson then went on to discuss the benefits of going to St. Francis College.

"The main advantage is internships. Students last year usually have a significant amount of internships that others don't get. Without internships, it is very hard to get a job. We have a great reputation so the employers have been very satisfied," said Anderson.

"SFC being a small college is an asset to the students. We have students at Credit Suisse, J. Crew, media companies, television and IBM," Anderson said.

Anderson then said that his goals aren't to be a chancellor or to move up to a higher position. His goals are to "keep improving myself, how can I be more useful?"

His destination isn't like others.

"As a professor it is about self-fulfillment. How do I improve myself to help the students more?"

Dr. Dennis Anderson has been at SFC for 8 years and is a strong advocate for technology enhanced learning.

© Copyright 2009, St. Francis College, All Rights Reserved