Michael Rappa, an internationally recognized expert in technology management, will serve as the director of the new Institute for Advanced Analytics at North Carolina State University.

The institute will oversee a new Master of Science in Analytics program at NCSU that is being funded in part by a gift from SAS. Jim Goodnight, co-founder and chief executive officer of SAS, founded the company while serving as a professor at NCSU.

The first 40 students will be accepted into the program in July.

Rappa proposed the idea for the institute in April of last year. A former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined NCSU in 1998. He teaches in the colleges of Management, Engineering, Textiles, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

“NC State is fortunate to have Dr. Rappa at the helm of the institute,” said NC State Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Larry Nielsen in a statement. “His proven leadership in interdisciplinary programs – and his successful track record of working closely with industry – has put NC State at the forefront in the emerging field of advanced analytics. The Master of Science in Analytics is on the path to become one of the largest graduate degree programs we have, and one that leverages our unique strengths.”

Rappa created a Web site called Managing the Digital Enterprise that is used by more than 250,000 students a year. The site was launched in 1999.

“The institute is a wonderful example of NC State’s ability to be an innovator in the development of educational opportunities that address the needs of the 21st century,” said Rappa. “I am delighted to serve as its director.”

At NCSU, Rappa has been actively involved in creating and launching e-commerce efforts, a computer network graduate degree program, and open source educational software. An early advocate of “podcasts,” Rappa offered one of his entire courses in that format in 2005.