Last month marked a momentous occasion for the Broad College of Business as Russell Johnson, professor of management, was awarded an MSU Foundation Professorship. Johnson’s appointment marks the first time a Broad faculty member has been awarded this honor.

Russell Johnson, associate professor in the Department of Management in Michigan State University's Eli Broad College of Business. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

Russell Johnson, MSU Foundation Professor of Management

This appointment, through the generosity of the MSU Foundation, was first introduced in 2014 for new and current faculty who “combine externally recognized, exemplary scholarly accomplishment and/or potential, with clear professional relevance to specific areas of MSU scholarly need, disciplinary development or research or creative emphasis.” The title is earned through a highly selective process; only 50 individuals across campus have received the award since its inception.

Dean Sanjay Gupta worked alongside senior associate dean Robert Wiseman and management department chair Donald Conlon for Johnson’s nomination.

“Dr. Johnson has truly excelled across the areas of research, teaching and service by compiling a prodigious research record, earning an impressive international reputation, delivering exceptional teaching and making important service contributions to the profession, Broad College and the university,” Gupta said.

Reflecting on his selection, Johnson expressed appreciation for the career he’s had. “I am very fortunate and grateful to be recognized for exemplary scholarly achievement by the university for activities — conducting research and teaching and mentoring students — I really enjoy and am energized by,” he said. “I feel very lucky for the success I’ve had working in a career that continues to fascinate and inspire me.

“I am also very grateful to the leadership at the Broad College for their support and all the effort that went into the nomination,” Johnson continued. “I am very proud to be a member of a college and department that recognize and support faculty research and create a scholarly environment where faculty can develop and thrive.”

Johnson joined MSU in 2010 and says he’s enjoyed working with and learning from productive colleagues and mentors. With his new title, he’s hoping to serve the same role for others.

“[My colleagues’] support and guidance were critical for helping me to etch out a successful program of research and make a mark for myself in the management field,” he said. “My goal now is to pay this support forward to junior faculty and doctoral students by helping them develop and grow as scholars. Collaborating with others, especially students, on research is one of the great joys of my work!”

Conlon emphasized the significance of Johnson being the first Broad faculty member to earn this title as it reflects on the college’s reputation within the Spartan community.

“We see this as important for everyone at MSU to realize that business school professors do research just like their colleagues in other colleges,” he said. “As I understand it, Professor Johnson received the last of the ‘original 50’ MSU Foundation Professorships that were funded.”

“This is one of the most important recognitions bestowed on faculty at MSU. This honor recognizes Dr. Johnson’s scholarly leadership in his area of research,” Wiseman said. “Indeed, he is the most prolific scholar in the world in his area of research.”