Since 1966, the John A. Hannah Distinguished Professorship has been held by educators who help strengthen their disciplines as well as bolster Michigan State University’s ability to solve global problems through research, scholarship, creative activity and teaching.

A professional headshot of MSU John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor Quinetta Roberson.

Quinetta Roberson, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor, Broad College Department of Management and College of Social Science Department of Psychology

This month, Quinetta Roberson joins MSU as the next Hannah Distinguished Professor, with a majority appointment in the Broad College’s Department of Management and a minority appointment in the College of Social Science’s Department of Psychology. She’s looking forward to applying her expertise in this cross-section of work.

“I have always been a boundary spanner,” Roberson said. “I have degrees in organizational behavior and finance. My research has focused on diversity and organizational justice, employs quantitative and qualitative methods and has been published in management, psychology and law journals. I have taught in both business and labor relations schools.

“Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to leverage my interdisciplinary role to generate scholarship that draws on a diversity of fields and research traditions and transforms the business world and society.”

Roberson comes to Spartan nation from Villanova University as the Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair in Business Leadership and Professor in the Department of Management & Operations at The Villanova School of Business. Her scholarly contributions have been recognized through her receipt of numerous prestigious awards and elections to prestigious leadership positions. She serves as an elected member of the Academy of Management’s Executive Committee, where she was inducted as president earlier this month.

In addition to a distinguished career, Roberson brings scholarly expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion, which will help drive a strategic theme of the Broad College and meaningfully engage with the rest of MSU’s campus.

“Given my background in the finance industry, I approach DEI from a more strategic perspective,” Roberson said. “In other words, how can organizations become more diverse, equitable and inclusive and in ways that help to drive strategic goals and enhance performance?

“This approach moves beyond the DEI ‘brand’ and instead focuses on creating and sustaining structural and cultural change in organizations. Therefore, my expertise will help to embed DEI more deeply and meaningfully within Broad while allowing the college to be both a thought leader and action leader in this space.”

The Broad College and the College of Social Science have long had a productive collaboration that has been sustained and advanced through the joint appointment of a Hannah Professor. This collaboration has significantly strengthened both units, contributing to MSU’s No. 1 ranking in industrial organization psychology and No. 1 ranking in management research productivity in top academic journals.

Roberson is no stranger to MSU’s reputation, as her past work has often brought her in touch with faculty here. Now, she’s eager to be a Spartan, too.

“Beyond MSU’s enduring reputation as a pioneer land-grant university and top research institution, scholars at MSU have always been at the top of my field,” Roberson said. “Much of the innovative and impactful research published in the top journals in management have been authored by faculty and doctoral students from MSU and, more specifically, within the Broad College. Those people have also been my mentors, coauthors and friends over the last 20 years. So, the opportunity to work with them as colleagues and be affiliated with the MSU brand was exciting!”