Dean, Mike Ilitch School of Business
Professor of Information Systems Management
Mike Ilitch School of Business
2771 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Virginia Franke Kleist earned her Ph.D. and master's in information systems management and a master’s in economics from the University of Pittsburgh as well as an M.B.A. from Marquette University. She did her undergraduate work in economics and history at Duke University.
Kleist came to Wayne State from West Virginia University, where she served as the associate dean of graduate programs, research and academic affairs and as a professor of management information systems within the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Her responsibilities included oversight of graduate programs at the Chambers College, the promotion and tenure process, and administration of the faculty research function, including working to develop and implement strategies and plans to promote faculty research. Kleist taught strategic technology management, data communications and network security.
In her roles at WVU, Kleist spearheaded the development and delivery of six new entrepreneurial online graduate degrees and grew graduate student enrollment by 77% between fall 2018 and fall 2021. She also accumulated extensive international experience, including oversight of the Robbins Center for Global Business and Strategy and the Center for Chinese Business.
In her 23 years at WVU, Kleist held leadership positions including chair of the University Faculty Senate, 11-year member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and chair of the Department of Management and Information Systems. Previously, she served as director of the M.B.A./M.S. in management information systems dual degree program at the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to her career in academics, Kleist spent 10 years in telecommunications network management at PNC, Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation, Joy Technologies and GTE (now Verizon).
Kleist's research publications include work on the economics of information technologies, information systems data security and IT auditing issues.
Kleist is a three-time Fulbright Specialist award winner, having taught in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, and Ufa, Russia, for two of those awards. Kleist won WVU's Board of Governors Outstanding Teaching Award and her field's best dissertation award.