News at Smith

Distinguished University Professor

May 01, 2008


Roland Rust, David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing, chair of the marketing department, and executive director of the Center for Excellence in Service and the Center for Complexity in Business, has been named Distinguished University Professor. It is the highest honor presented by the university; only 50 have been conferred since the award’s inception 28 years ago. The title of Distinguished University Professor recognizes the influence of Rust’s body of research and his impact on the field of marketing, particularly in the area of service.

Rust is one of the top scholars in marketing, producing research that is unparalleled in its breadth and scope. He has won the MSI-Paul Root award from the Journal of Marketing three times, a hat trick that puts him in the company of only Philip Kotler and Paul Green, and has collected/received numerous other best article awards. He is the holder of career awards in advertising, service marketing, marketing research, and statistics. He is the editor of his field’s top-cited journal, the Journal of Marketing, and the journal he founded at the Smith School, the Journal of Service Research, was recently indexed by the Social Science Citation Index only seven years after its inception. It is now the fifth highest-cited journal in the field.

He is the author of eight books, including Driving Customer Equity with Valerie Zeithaml and Katherine Lemon, which won the 2002 Berry-AMA Book Prize for the best marketing book of the previous three years; his most recent book, Customer Equity Management with Lemon and Das Narayandas, is well on its way to becoming the seminal textbook for modern customer relationship studies. Rust is something of a marketing trend seismograph: if he is studying it, it is sure to be the next big thing.

Rust’s most recent project involved creating an adaptive personalization system for downloading digital music, with Michel Wedel, PepsiCo Professor of Consumer Science, and doctoral student Tuck Siong Chung, now an assistant professor at Nanyang University in Singapore. Rust is currently studying service productivity. His work reaches out to both the academic and managerial audiences and his models of customer equity have been implemented by a number of leading companies worldwide.

Rust founded the school’s Center for Excellence in Service, which sponsors theJournal of Service Research and the Frontiers in Service Conference, the world’s leading annual service conference, which last year drew attendees from 41 countries.

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