As the McIntire faculty increased in number during the late 1970s and 1980s, interest in offering other graduate programs developed. While several possibilities were discussed, including graduate opportunities in finance and marketing, the area that seemed to have a special niche in which to offer a master's degree was management information systems. Spearheaded by faculty member Elias Awad, the program passed the Faculty Senate and the Board of Visitors in 1988 and by the State Council of Higher Education the same year. With Awad serving as Coordinator of M.S. in MIS programming, the program began to welcome students in 1989.