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Virginia Franke Kleist Ph.D.

304-293-7939Virginia.Kleist@mail.wvu.edu443Business and Economics Building

Dean's Office

Virginia Franke Kleist Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, Research and Academic Affairs

Professor, Management Information Systems


Virginia Franke Kleist, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Research and Academic Affairs and Professor of Management Information Systems at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University. She holds a PhD in Management Information Systems (MIS) from the University of Pittsburgh, an MS in MIS, an MBA and an MA in Economics. Her undergraduate work was in Economics and History from Duke University. The Chambers College is home to PhD Programs in Accounting, Economics, Management, Marketing and Finance, an online Doctorate of Business Administration as well as several highly ranked master's programs, both online and face to face: Together with her team, Associate Dean Kleist has increased enrollment in Chambers graduate programs by more than fifty percent since taking on this role in 2019.

As Associate Dean of Research, Dr. Kleist is responsible for management of all research resources, efforts and initiatives in the college (funding support, grants support, research engagement with industry partners and organizations), as well as working to develop and implement strategies and plans to promote faculty research. Her role also includes, together with University Administration, responsibility for the annual merit review and promotion and tenure review processes. Along with oversight over the traditional MBA and online MBA, Finance and Accounting Master's programs, she leads teams deploying online and hybrid online degrees such as the MS in Business Data Analytics, MS in Business Cybersecurity, MS Economics, and MS in Human Resource Management (face-to-face), MS in Human Resource Leadership (online) and online DBA degrees. Her responsibilities also include leadership in our international arena, including oversight of the Center for Executive Education, the Center for Chinese Business and the Robbins Center for Global Business and Strategy. Dr. Kleist formerly chaired the Chambers MIS Department from May of 2015 until January, 2019, where she was responsible for the Global Supply Chain Management, Data Analytics, Business Cybersecurity and MIS programs. Dr. Kleist teaches strategic technology management, Data Communications and Network Security. Prior to becoming an academic, she spent 10 years in industry in telecommunications network management at PNC, AHERF, Joy, and GTE (now Verizon).

Dr. Kleist's research publications are in IS Frontiers, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Security and Privacy, Information Systems Management, JCIS, Electronic Commerce Research and other research journals. Her work includes the economics of information technologies, information systems data security and IT auditing issues. She has been awarded many externally funded grants, and most recently worked on a WVU NSF ADVANCE grant studying within women differences in information technology careers.

She is a long-time member of AIS, was Track Chair for ICIS 2015, is the Book Review Editor of the Journal of Global Information Technology Management, and is a member of AIS's Special Interest Groups in Security and Accounting Information Systems. Dr. Kleist was honored with the International Conference on Information Systems Outstanding Dissertation Award, was an 11-year elected member of the WVU Faculty Senate Executive Committee and is a past Chairperson of the WVU Faculty Senate. Kleist served as a Fulbright Specialist in Ufa, Russia, and was a Fulbright Specialist in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine at the National Mining University. Dr. Kleist was awarded the WVU Foundation Outstanding University Teacher designation. 


  • Ph.D., Management of Information Systems (MIS) and Telecommunications, University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business; 2000
  • M.S., MIS, University of Pittsburgh, 1991
  • M.B.A., Marquette University, 1981
  • M.A., Economics, University of Pittsburgh, 1979
  • B.A., Economics and History, Duke University, 1978

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