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Photo of Donald  Carpenter

Donald Carpenter

Professor of Computer Information Systems

Contact Information

Dominguez Hall 309B



DDiv, American Institute of Holistic Theology

PhD, Management Information Systems, University of Nebraska

MBA, Information Systems, University of Colorado

BS, Kearney State College


Don Carpenter is a Nebraska native, born in Lexington, raised in Lincoln and schooled in Kearney, graduating in 1971 from Kearney State College (now University of Nebraska at Kearney) with a bachelor of science in business administration. His career path took him through Lincoln and Kansas City, before settling for 13 years in Colorado Springs.

He accumulated 10 years of industry experience, mostly while marketing mainframe computers, before committing to a career change to become a college professor. He taught first at Pikes Peak Community College, while earning an MBA from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. At PPCC, he was an instructor of computer information technology. He also served as an adjunct instructor of marketing at UCCS.

When the opportunity to teach at Kearney State College presented itself in 1985, it was an easy professional decision. At that time, KSC allowed him to earn tenure and move through the ranks of assistant, associate and full professor, while working on a doctorate degree. His plan was to stay in Kearney for three or four years before relocating to Colorado's Western Slope. He earned the PhD in management information systems from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 1992.

Unforeseen circumstances kept him in Kearney longer than expected. He served as chair of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems for fifteen years. In his last three years there, he was Director of the Global Sources Information Technology Program and a professor of management information systems in the College of Business.

After completing the 18th year of his original three-year plan, he finally lived into his long-term goal by taking a position as associate professor of computer information systems at Colorado Mesa University in 2003. He was once again granted tenure and promoted to professor in 2008.

His most recent research and publication interests deal with pedagogy, program assessment, as well as meaningfulness to individuals of technology and motivation that results. He also continues several other research strands that have resulted in numerous publications and presentations. He has developed a Model Universal Enterprise Information Structure (MUEIS) that has been the basis for both scholarship and service opportunities. He also has developed and published several decision support systems, including a Teleprocessing Line Speed DSS and a Personal Weight Management DSS.

He is widowed and has four grown children, three children-in-law and two incredible grandchildren. He has a wide range of leisure interests, including outdoor activities such as hiking the many beautiful mountain and canyon trails in the Grand Junction area. His many other interests include travel, writing novels and poetry, studying spirituality and researching his genealogy.

He has published 23 peer-reviewed journal articles, seven invited seven book chapters, three text or case books, 73 peer-reviewed conference papers or abstracts, three training videos, eight newspaper guest feature articles, two student manuals, nine decision support systems (software packages) and three novels.

He teaches his CMU courses using the Socratic Method. His teaching philosophy is based on 12 points:

1. Quality is a process, not just a measure of an outcome.
2. Effective instruction can only occur when centered upon sound instructional objectives.
3. There is not one best way to deliver all instructional material.
4. There is no substitute for a teacher possessing and portraying a thorough and current knowledge of the subject material.
5. Students will perform best in an atmosphere that is non-threatening, cordial and professional.
6. Good teaching relies on good communications between teacher and students.
7. It is critical that students thoroughly understand all the instructor's expectations of them.
8. Students are best motivated when three factors are present: responsibility for outcomes, timely feedback and understanding of meaningfulness of the material.
9. Adults learn hands-on computer skills best through the process of exploration as opposed to spoon-feeding.
10. I treat students as fellow humans and as individuals.
11. I encourage students to visit me in my office as they need advice regarding or experience difficulties with the course material, with my policies, with other experiences at the college, or me or with life.
12. I am human. Consequently, I make mistakes.