AUBURN – Bill Hardgrave, founder and executive director of the Information Technology Research Institute in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, has been named dean of Auburn University’s College of Business, effective August 1.
“Dr. Hardgrave brings to Auburn a tremendously high level of expertise in business and in the constantly emerging technologies that improve product development and distribution,” Auburn Provost Mary Ellen Mazey said. “As founding director of a center, he has extensive experience in collaborating across academic disciplines and with the business community.”
Hardgrave holds the Edwin and Karlee Bradberry Chair in Information Systems at Arkansas and is the founder and director of the RFID Research Center. His research and publications have focused on software development and radio frequency identification, or RFID, which involves placing a small tag on a product for inventory management, tracking and pricing.
“I am honored to be named dean of the College of Business and I look forward to helping the college assume its position as one of the elite business schools in the country,” Hardgrave said. “I strongly believe in engaging the business community in all that we do, because this deep interaction will be a key to our ascension.
“We will work closely with our multiple stakeholders to create an environment of engaged scholarship, which will enhance the educational experience of our students, enlighten our research and boost the value of our outreach regionally, nationally and globally.”
In 1999, Hardgrave established the Information Technology Research Institute at Arkansas with a $4 million endowment from the Walton Family Charitable Trust Foundation. In 2005, he founded the RFID Research Center which quickly became one of the world’s leading centers for examining the business value of RFID. In 2008, the RFID Research Center’s lab was named by NetworkWorldas one of the “10 coolest labs” in the United States.
Hardgrave received his doctorate in management information systems from Oklahoma State University. Prior to entering academia, he worked in a variety of roles for software development firms.