Kyle Cheek MPA’94, PhD’96

“Always take by choice the job you do not know how to do. By doing so you will build into your life the variety of experience that is required of the public administrator.” – Harlan Cleveland

Home: Chicago, IL

UT Dallas Degree: Master of Public Affairs, 1994; PhD – Political Economy, 1996
Profession: Director of the Center for Research in Information Management in the College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois-Chicago

My Work

As the Director of the Center for Research, I am responsible for the Center’s mission to develop opportunities for faculty and students to engage the local business community to address practical problems in data science and information management. I also hold an appointment as Clinical Professor of Information and Decision Sciences, developing and teaching courses on the practice and management of advanced business analytics for the graduate programs in Management Information Systems and Business Administration. I have provided seminal support to the development of a graduate program in Business Analytics, to launch in Fall 2014, and will lead the capstone student practicum.

Prior to my academic appointment, I served in various executive roles, building and leading analytic practices for large corporations. My expertise is centered on the application of advanced quantitative analytics to business domain problems across multiple verticals. Some of my notable accomplishments include leading the definition, development, and implementation of an award-winning advanced-analytic fraud detection solution and leading the development and execution of an advanced analytics business strategy. I am active with numerous professional organizations, broadly focused on the furtherance of data analytics as business asset, and am frequently invited to provide commentary to various industry and media forums on the broader adoption of advanced analytics as a strategic business competency.

The Value of My Degree

The critical and quantitative analytic skills I developed during the course of my studies at UT Dallas have been foundational to my career arc thus far. In addition, I have directed employees to UT Dallas to develop their own critical and quantitative analytic skills – with notable success.

My EPPS Success

EPPS (POEC when I was there) provided me with a uniquely broad, multidisciplinary program with a strong curriculum, led by a prolific faculty who were supported by strong academic leadership. In addition, I was part of a unique student cohort that challenged one another to excel both academically and professionally.

Advice for EPPS Students

The best advice I can give is the same advice that was handed down to me while I was at UT Dallas – advice attributed to Harlan Cleveland. Dr. Cleveland told his students: “Always take by choice the job you do not know how to do. By doing so you will build into your life the variety of experience that is required of the public administrator. … And when the job at hand no longer demands more than you have to give, go and do something else.”