Monday, October 12, 2020
Posted by: Brook Pritchett
Rolf Wigand, retired Maulden-Entergy Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, passed away on September 25. He was a founding and charter member of AIS and, since retiring in 2015, was affiliated with the Emeritus College at Arizona State University where he started his academic career in 1975.
For his lifelong service to the field of information systems and AIS, Rolf has been awarded The Distinguished Member Memorial Award. The award honors members of the AIS community who have made significant contributions to the field of information systems but, unfortunately, passed away before they could be considered for an AIS Fellow or AIS LEO Award.
Rolf was born in Altkirch, Germany and grew up in Mayen, Germany. After high school, 1961-1966, he held management internships with firms in Mannheim and Berlin, Germany. He earned a B.B.A. in Marketing and Advertising in 1970 and a M.A. in Mass Communication in 1972 from Texas Tech University. In 1975 he earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Organizational Communication.
For 40 years Rolf enjoyed an active and highly productive career in academia. His first position, 1975, was an Assistant Professor of Communication at Arizona State University (ASU). By 1983 he was a Professor of Communication and Public Administration at ASU. From 1991 to 2002 he was a Professor of Information Studies at Syracuse University (SU), School of Information Studies and a Senior Research Fellow with the Maxwell School at SU. In 2002 he became the Maulden-Entergy Chair and Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Management at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock retiring in 2015. Since 2015 he was affiliated with the Emeritus College at ASU.
During his academic career he held numerous administrative positions as well as served as a Visiting Professor at Universities located in Mexico City, Munich, Bayreuth, Manheim, Stuttgart, Helsinki, Sydney and Hong Kong. He consulted with a variety of national and international business organizations Rolf’s active research agenda yielded 21 books and over 500 articles, chapters and monographs. His research interests examined the intersection of newer information technologies and their impact on organizations and society. He followed the thread of information throughout his work. His research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the German National Science Foundation (DFG), the Volkswagen Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin, the European Union, the International Science Council in Paris, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and other funding agencies.
He held numerous editorial positions for several academic journals. He was a founding and charter member of the Association of Information Systems (AIS) for 25 years and a life-long member of the International Communication Association (ICA).
“Rolf Wigand was internationally active in IS education and research and a consummate supporter of the AIS community,” said Doug Vogel, past-president of AIS and close colleague to Wigant. “We will miss him sorely”
Rolf and his wife Dianne (also a Professor) traveled widely, internationally engaging with scholars and promoting conferences in the field of information systems.