Dr. Bart Longenecker In Memoriam
Bart Longenecker was one of the most influential Information Systems (IS) educators ever. Herbert Eugene Longenecker, Jr., was born on May 17, 1943, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was influenced heavily by his father who was president of Tulane University, where Bart earned a BS in Chemistry. In 1965 he married Gesina L. Lizana. Bart earned a PhD in Neuroscience from Rockefeller University in 1970 and did post- graduate work in Pharmacology at Cornell University Medical College. Bart and Gesina studied together, investigating neural networks, computing, and the action of drugs on the nervous system. Bart’s post-graduate study on the effects of black widow spider venom on the nervous system of cats.
In 1972 the couple moved to Mobile, Alabama, where they both worked in the health sciences, Bart as an Assistant Professor. He worked in the areas of neuroscience, neurobiology, and pharmacology. During this time in the mainframe era of computing, Bart developed and administered real-time computer software and hardware as Computing Director for the College of Medicine.
In the early 1980s, Bart published the results of his first major systems development project. The project, funded by an NIH grant, developed a tool called FEDIT. Bart always worked on systems development projects with students, using his classroom as a laboratory for invention. The systems he built mirrored elements of existing products found in industry, but were integrated in innovative ways.
Bart’s health steadily declined, but not his will to continue working. With his mobility severely limited, Bart, with great difficulty, decided to retire officially from the University of South Alabama in May 2014, after a 44-year career.
Bart was a true champion of the IS model curricula. While many people and organizations contributed to the sponsorship, development and dissemination of IS model curricula over the years, Bart was perhaps its greatest champion. He spoke passionately about the subject at every ISECON and EDSIG meeting he could, every year. He was named Professor Emeritus of Information Systems at the University of South Alabama at about the same time. Bart Longenecker died on December 11, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia, in the presence of his children.