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Bentley College Receives $450,000 Grant from National Science Foundation

May 7, 2006

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a collaborative research grant of more than $450,000 to Bentley College. Principal investigator Jane Fedorowicz, Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, will lead research focused on improving public safety and Homeland Security with co-principal investigators Christine Williams, professor of government, and M. Lynne Markus, John W. Poduska Sr. Professor of Information Management, along with a third co-principal investigator from Pennsylvania State University.

The funding will be used for research to improve public safety and homeland security through enhanced systems design that will support information sharing and IT-enabled collaborations among public and private organizations.

"Government is just beginning to discover ways in which technology can be used effectively to coordinate among agencies that have operated independently," says Fedorowicz. "Recent events, both pre- and post-9/11, have shown the importance of communications and data sharing. The challenges of crossing agency boundaries clearly involve more than technology, and are quite different from those in the private sector."

The study, "Design Principles for Effective Interorganizational Public Safety Response Infrastructures," will collect data about several collaborative projects that cut across multiple levels, jurisdictions and functions of government. Among the collaborations to be studied are Capital Wireless Integrated Network, Automated Regional Justice Information System, and Pennsylvania's Justice Network.

"It will be a combination of in-depth case studies and the creation of a broadly based database describing collaborations in 50 states, and perhaps internationally," Fedorowicz notes. One goal of the research is to identify best practices in the design and use of public safety collaborations, and to link design principles to particular characteristics, objectives or constraints of the participating organizations.

"By taking a holistic approach that encompasses political, technical, organizational and financial issues, we'll be able to provide guidance on a wide variety of challenges they face - such as governance, funding, legacy systems, data standards, and process redesign," Fedorowicz says.

The project derives directly from the work of the Bentley Invision Project, a three-year program funded by the college to support the study of interorganizational information sharing collaborations in e-government, healthcare and supply chains.


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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