In 2014, he received an All-University Teaching Award from the University of Virginia. He currently serves as the Director of the Center for the Management of Information Technology, a position he has held since the founding of CMIT in 1991. During his tenure at the McIntire School, he has also served as Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program for five years, as Information Technology Area Coordinator for nine years, and as Director of the M.S. in MIT Program for 10 years.

Professor Nelson has published articles on project management, IT adoption, information and system quality, and IT human capital in a variety of academic and professional journals, including MIS QuarterlyMIS Quarterly ExecutiveCommunications of the ACMJournal of Management Information SystemsInformation & ManagementInternational Information SystemsData BaseCIO; and Case Research Journal, among others. In addition, he edited a book titled End-User Computing: Concepts, Issues & Applications, published by John Wiley & Sons. Professor Nelson also serves as a reviewer for many professional journals and is a member of the editorial board for MIS Quarterly Executive. Before joining the McIntire School, he served on the faculty of the University of Houston and worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Professor Nelson has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, including Bank of America, the Texas Air Corporation, Alere, CFA Institute, Home Federal Savings & Loan, and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.