Academic Positions

  • August, 2017 - Present

    Assistant Professor

    University of Central Oklahoma

  • 2014 - May, 2017

    Graduate Research Assistant

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Nitin Agarwal

  • 2013

    Graduate Teaching Assistant

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Serhan Dagtas

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. May, 2017

    Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • May, 2017

    Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics

    University of Arkansas at Little Rock

  • M.B.A.1989

    Master of Business Administration

    University of Memphis

  • B.S.1979

    Bachelor of Science in Mathematics / Computer Science

    University of Memphis

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2017
    The Doctoral Student Award for Excellence in Service
    Presented by the Information Science Department in the George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on May 2, 2017.
    Received NSF travel grant to attend SOUPS 2015
    The eleventh Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) was held July 22-24, 2015 at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. This symposium brought together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program featured technical papers, workshops and tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and lightning talks. SOUPS 2015 was held in cooperation with USENIX and ACM SIGCHI.
    Invited to Attend the AMCIS Doctoral Consortium
    The Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) is the international conference of the Association for Information Systems held annually in the Americas (North, Central, South). Its objective is to provide a diverse and inclusive forum where scholars who have an interest in the information systems discipline can meet to present and hear quality research, and pedagogical development conducted within the discipline.
    Invited to Join The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
    Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Its chapters are on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Each year, approximately 30,000 members are initiated.

Research Projects

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    A Longitudinal Study of Privacy Awareness in the Digital Age and the Influence of Knowledge

    This is the research study for my dissertation. In this project, I plan to investigate the privacy awareness of the general public in the United States. I plan to compare it to privacy awareness studies from the past. This research will also provide the participants with privacy awareness tips and gauge their influence.

    If you would like more information, click here.

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    Attitudes Towards Internet Privacy Policies

    This project was centered around the question "Do individuals read Internet privacy policies and why or why not?

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    Data Quality - It's Cultural

    What are the cultural or organizational issues that help and/or hinder Information Quality?

    This research group currently consists of Dr. John Talburt, Dr. Thomas Redman, David Becker, Donna Chacere and myself.

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Why students engage in cyber-cheating through a collective movement: A case of deviance and collusion

Rachida F. Parks, Paul Benjamin Lowry, Rolf T. Wigand, Nitin Agarwal, Therese L. Williams
Journal PaperComputers & Education - Volume 125, October 2018, Pages 308-326


The use of social networking sites (SNS) such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube has contributed to improving teaching and learning in contemporary educational systems. Unfortunately, online social networks are among the many emerging technology artefacts that introduce new and potentially serious risks to academic environments and therefore have also been credited with the increased prevalence of academic cheating, or cyber-cheating, among students. Recent media attention has focused on how social media has added another medium that can facilitate many collective movements, such as recent uprisings in the Arab world. However, limited research focus has been afforded to the role SNS plays in the pervasiveness of cheating in non-Western cultural settings. Given the continuing growth in social media and advanced technologies, it is necessary to explore and understand academic cheating in the era of digital technology and cultural complexity.

In this research, we conduct a case study of ‘Tasribat’, a Facebook page that facilitates cyber-cheating among certain social groups of students in Morocco. Using an interpretive case study approach, we explore why students collectively engage in cyber-cheating. We leverage both interviews as well digital footprints to explore this collective cheating movement on Facebook. We focus on the intertwined relationship between individual and collective cyber-cheating behaviours with an emphasis on ethical and cultural complexity. The paper's major contribution resides in its analysis and conceptualisation through our emerging model—the Collective Action Cyber-Cheating Model—that integrates collective action and social learning theories. We conclude by discussing this study's contributions to research and practice and its associated future research opportunities.

Critical Cultural Success Factors For Achieving High Quality Information In An Organization

Therese L. Williams, David K. Becker, John R. Talburt
Conference PapersAMCIS 2017 - A Tradition of Innovation, Boston, MA, August 10-12, 2017


While information and data quality practitioners are in general agreement that social, cultural, and organizational factors are the most important in determining the success or failure of an organization’s data quality programs, there is little to no existing research quantifying these factors. In this research we build from both our previous research and others’ to distill and clarify those cultural factors which are the Critical Cultural Success Factors (CCSFs) for successful Information and Data Quality programs in an organization. Using the Delphi method for gaining consensus from a group of experts, we distilled fourteen factors down to six and clarified the definitions of those six factors. We begin explaining how these CCSFs fit into Organizational Learning Theory and plan to ultimately define a new system dynamics model incorporating them so that organizations and information quality practitioners can positively affect the success of information and data quality programs.

Using Dance of Change Concepts to Apply Critical Cultural Success Factors to Data Quality Initiatives

David K. Becker, John R. Talburt, Thomas C. Redman, Therese L. Williams
Conference Papers35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Cambridge MA, 2017


Data Quality (DQ) is an important determiner of success for any organization to conduct its mission and meet its objectives. Organizations undertake initiatives to improve the quality of the data that drives value for the organization. Two studies led by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) have identified a list of 6 clearly defined cultural factors for data quality initiatives that are considered critical to their success. A DQ initiative can be considered an organizational change initiative. Senge’s Dance of Change system dynamics model can be considered a framework for evaluating organizational change. This study explores how the Dance of Change model can be used as a framework for understanding the critical cultural success factors (CCSFs) generated by UALR’s previous Student Project and Delphi studies.

A Decade of SOUPS: An Analysis of Ingredients

Therese L. Williams, Nitin Agarwal, Rolf T. Wigand
Conference PosterPoster Session of the Eleventh Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2015)


The authors survey and describe the accepted submissions to the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) since its inception in 2005. We observe some noteworthy trends in both the accepted papers and in the authorship of those papers while keeping historical views of the trends in mind. We aim to identify emerging topics of interests in the usable privacy and security domain. Furthermore, this investigation would shed insights on the academic vs. practitioners’ view on privacy and security especially with the proliferation of digital communication tools in the last decade that have engaged the society in profound debates on the corrosion of privacy.

Measuring Sociocultural Factors Of Success In Information Quality Projects

Therese L. Williams, David K. Becker, Carmen Robinson, Thomas C. Redman, John R. Talburt
Conference Papers20th Annual MIT International Conference on Information Quality "Making High-Quality Data the Norm" July 24, 2015 at MIT


Information and data quality practitioners are in general agreement that social, cultural, and organizational factors are the most important in determining the success or failure of an organization’s data quality programs. This paper presents some of the first research undertaken to substantiate these anecdotal claims. The paper describes a survey of recent graduates from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Information Quality Graduate Program. In the survey the graduates rate how much influence these sociocultural factors had on the outcomes of their data quality projects. The results of the survey support the practitioners’ claims.

Protecting Private Information: Current Attitudes Concerning Privacy Policies

Therese L. Williams, Nitin Agarwal, and Rolf T. Wigand
Conference Papers2014 ASE BigData/SocialInformatics/PASSAT/BioMedCom Conference, Harvard University, December 14-16, 2014: Conference Full Papers


Privacy, in the modern connected world, has become a much discussed topic in society ranging from privacy concerns to impacts, attitudes, practices and technologies. Privacy policies are published by businesses and other organizations to communicate to individuals how their private information will be used. This research strives to answer the question – What are the current attitudes of individuals towards these published privacy policies and have those attitudes changed in the last ten years? The research in this paper is based on data collected from an online survey in spring 2014. Compared with research published by Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2005, somewhat surprisingly attitudes have not changed in the last decade.

Modeling And Simulating the Impact of Social Issues on Information Quality: Literature Review

Therese L. Williams, David Becker, Thomas C. Redman, Amit Saha, Kashif Mehdi, Joanne Reilley, Huzaifa Syed, Wright A. Nodine, Jr., and John Talburt
Conference Papers Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Information Quality, Little Rock, AR November 2013, Pages 95-110


Information quality is generally defined in terms of fitness for use. Almost all agree that they prefer high-quality to low-quality information. And, while many organizations have made good progress, many find that setting up information quality programs and making improvements proves difficult. Further, most agree that the most critical difficulties stem from organizational, structural and political issues. As yet, there is no body of theory and practice to help leaders and organizations systematically understand and address these issues.

This research program aims to (begin to) build the body of needed theory. The basic idea is to employ systems dynamics and computer simulation to explore the ways hundreds of possible factors and managerial actions advance or hinder information quality efforts. More specifically then, the long-term goal of this research is to create and utilize a test bed (or simulator) to examine, in a systematic fashion, the impact of various social/cultural issues which influence the penetration and overall success of information quality in an organization. In particular, building on the work of Falleta (1), this research is a literature review of multiple organizational change models that can potentially be utilized for this modeling.

This paper reports on one aspect of this research, namely, the literature review. As one might suspect, there is much relevant work, from the fields of systems dynamics, organizational analyses, force-field analyses, and change management.

Information Quality Research Challenge: Predicting and Quantifying the Impact of Social Issues on Information Quality Programs

John Talburt, Therese L. Williams, Thomas C. Redman, David Becker
Journal Paper ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality, Volume 5, Issue 1-2, August 2014, Article 2


There are many challenging issues in the field of Information Quality (IQ) and experience has taught us that they are not all technical. As Thomas Redman points out “Veterans also know that it is not the hard, technical issues that stymie an organization’s efforts to better manage and utilize its data and information assets, but rather the soft organizational, political, and social issues.” (Redman 2008, 159–160) Doan et al cite a similar issue with data integration, that many projects fail simply because the data owners do not want to cooperate (Doan, Halevy, and Ives 2012). Most current IQ methodologies and frameworks now acknowledge and incorporate this reality, for example, the McGilvray Framework for IQ posits that in addition to the what (data) and how (processes and technology) context, the who (people and organizations) must also be considered in order to effectively address IQ problems (McGilvray 2008).

Teaching History

  • Present 2017

    Developing SQL Server Database

  • Present 2017

    Database Foundations (Masters' Level)

  • Present 2017

    Business Analytics

  • 2016 2006

    Introduction to Databases

  • 2016 2014

    Information Security Auditing for Compliance

  • 2016 2014

    Financial Accounting

  • 2016 2014

    Accounting and Finance for Business

  • 2014 2014

    Internet Technologies (HTML)

  • 2013 2001

    Network Administration Capstone

  • 2013 2001

    Email and Web Services

  • 2013 2001

    IP Networking / (TCP/IP)

  • 2013 2001

    Introduction to Programming (Visual Basic)

  • 2013 2011

    Windows 7

  • 2013 2001

    Windows Server 2000/2003/2007/2008

  • 2016 2001

    ITT Technical Institute – Little Rock, AR

    Provided classroom instruction including labs, met with students upon request and graded all work. Also frequently served as a substitute for various networking and business classes.

  • 2012 2001

    Arkansas State Crime Laboratory

    IT Manager

    Responsibilities included information technology planning, management of staff, network administration, database administration and management, application programming, website programming, WAN and LAN security, disaster recovery, technical project management and participation in various state advisory working groups. These working groups have developed a certificate policy for a statewide implementation of PKI; multiple statewide technology policies including a password policy, wireless policy, encryption policy, data classification, records retention, and other statewide standards and best practices.

  • 2001 1996

    Self-employed Consultant

    Provided business problem solving, application development and design, custom training, implementation and conversion services.

  • 1996 1995

    Acxiom Corporation

    I was hired to assist with turning around an unsatisfied customer. Within six months, the customer was a reference account.

  • 1995 1994

    Wang Laboratories

    Network Integration Specialist

    Project Manager for integration services with a multi-vendor perspective for several multi-million dollar implementations. Was first analyst in company to obtain Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

  • 1994 1992

    Self-employed Consultant

    Provided business problem solving, application development and design, custom training, implementation and conversion services.

  • 1992 1986

    Wang Laboratories

    Principal Systems Consultant

    Responsible for achieving consulting goals, assisting Account Executive in execution of Marketing Plan, providing technical support to sales representative and customers, providing presentations and demonstrations of equipment and software. Received the Annual Circle of Excellence Award, Southern Region Support Analyst of the Month (twice), and was awarded Outstanding Performance in State Government.

    Senior Systems Consultant

    Responsible for providing technical support to sales representatives and customers, providing presentations and demonstrations of equipment and software. Also provided custom classroom training. Received the Annual Circle of Excellence twice.

  • 1986 1982

    Tele-Tek, Incorporated

    Vice-President of a small startup software development company. Responsible for sales, customer support, development, and management.

  • 1982 1979

    NCR Corporation

    Systems Engineer responsible for post-sales customer support on a new line of mini-computers. Included programming, operating systems maintenance and documentation.