Virginia Kleist

Virginia Franke Kleist, Ph.D

Management Information Systems

Chair and Professor


  • 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

Office# : 320
T: 304.293.7939

Area of Expertise:

Virginia Franke Kleist, Ph.D. is Chair, MIS Department and Professor of Management Information Systems at the College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University. Additionally, she is the Program Coordinator for the Business Data Analytics degree. The MIS Department houses undergraduate degrees in MIS and Global Supply Chain Management as well serves as a coordinating point for a new College-wide graduate level program in applied Business Data Analytics. Dr. Kleist holds an undergraduate degree in History and Economics from Duke University, cum laude, an MA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, a full scholarship MBA from Marquette University, an MS in MIS from Pitt as well as a PhD in MIS with a minor in Telecommunications, also from Pitt. She has worked at WVU since 1999.

Dr. Kleist teaches strategic technology at the M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. level and business intelligence in the graduate MS in Data Analytics program. She also teaches undergraduate Management Information Systems, data communications and network security at the College. She has taught strategic Executive Education classes at organizations such as Simonton Windows, Pratt & Whitney, Orbital ATK and the IRS.

Kleist spent 10 years in industry in telecommunications network management operations for GTE Corporation (now Verizon), Joy Technologies, Inc., PNC Corporation and the Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation (AHERF). She was an Officer of the bank while at PNC Corporation. Her experiences at these organizations focused on wide area networking and network security, as well as technology operations, and security related issues. A key theme of her decade of managerial work experience was to understand how to value the organizational ROI for IT expenditures.

Dr. Kleist's publications are in IS Frontiers, Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Journal of Information Security and Privacy, Information Systems Management, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Electronic Commerce Research, and other outlets. Her topic areas include the economics of information technologies and information systems data security and IT auditing issues. She has conducted research into optimizing the cost/benefit of security via biometrics.

She is a long time member of AIS, was a Track Chair for ICIS 2015, Board Member of the Global Information Technology Management Association, AIS's Special Interest Group in Security, and a member of AIS's Special Interest Group in Accounting Information Systems. She is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and a member of the Fulbright Association. She is a Coordinating Editor for IS Frontiers. Kleist was honored with the International Conference on Information Systems Outstanding Dissertation Award in Brisbane, Australia, in 2000. She is currently working on a WVU NSF ADVANCE grant for studying within women differences in learning and using information technology.

Dr. Kleist is also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and a ten-year elected member of the WVU Faculty Senate Executive Committee. She served as chairperson of the WVU Faculty Senate from 2008 to 2009. In the fall of 2011, Dr. Kleist served as a Fulbright Specialist in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, teaching network security and electronic commerce to students at the National Mining University. In the fall of 2014, Dr. Kleist served as a Fulbright Specialist in Ufa, Russia at the Vegu Academy. Kleist was a Dean’s Scholar recipient in 2015, won the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Service Award in 2009, was awarded the College of Business and Economics Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002. Kleist is honored with a plaque on Wise Library for being one of the WVU Foundation Outstanding University Teachers for 2003.