CHAMPAIGN — Aric Rindfleisch has been named head of the Department of Business Administration in the University of Illinois College of Business, effective in August.
Rindfleisch is the department chairman for marketing at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. He is also the McManus-Bascom Professor in Marketing there.
His research has focused on understanding interorganizational relationships, consumption values and new-product development, according to business Dean Larry DeBrock, who announced the appointment Tuesday. It is subject to approval by UI trustees.
In an interview, Rindfleisch said he intends to look at which degree and non-degree programs in the department need to be growing and what new ones might work well.
He said he'd also like to begin a manufacturing lab in the business school that would have both research and teaching applications.
Rindfleisch said his own research interests cross boundaries, and working with the broad range of fields represented in the department appeals to him.
He said he's particularly intrigued with the concept of user innovation and the move toward user-based manufacturing.
Rindfleisch, 46, said he was raised by his grandparents in central Connecticut and was the first generation in his family to get a college education.
He received a bachelor's degree from Central Connecticut State University in 1987, a master's degree in business administration from Cornell University in 1990 and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998.
He was an assistant professor at the University of Arizona from 1997 to 2002, when he returned to Wisconsin as an assistant professor. He was subsequently promoted to associate and full professor.
Rindfleisch has also been a visiting professor at Tilburg University and Korea University. At Illinois, he will oversee a department with about 45 tenured and tenure-track faculty, he said.
The Department of Business Administration is one of three departments in the college, the others being accountancy and finance.
The business administration department takes in a variety of programs, including marketing, supply-chain management, information systems and information technology, general management, and management specialties such as international business and entrepreneurship.
Rindfleisch said not many departments use the "business administration" name anymore, and he wondered whether the UI department might want to consider new "branding" and models of organization.
Rindfleisch is the second recent appointment in the College of Business to come from the University of Wisconsin. Earlier this month, Jon Davis, a former UI faculty member who had been at Wisconsin for a decade, was named to head the UI Department of Accountancy.
Bill Qualls has served as interim head of the Department of Business Adminiistration, and George Pennacchi chaired the search that led to Rindfleisch's appointment.