W. Bruce Erickson, who had served as a professor in the Department of Strategic Management and Organization at the Carlson School for nearly 40 years, died Sunday, June 3. He was 74 years old.
Professor Erickson, an expert in antitrust economics and venture capital, received his PhD in economics from Michigan State University, where he also earned his master's. He joined the faculty of the Carlson School in 1966 and was twice chair of the Department of Strategic Management and Organization. He was named Teacher of the Year in 1983, 1985, 1988, 1991, and 1994 and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the National Association of Accountants in 1987. He was actively engaged in the Twin Cities venture capital community and a leader of the school's entrepreneurship teaching and research activities that led to the formation of the school's Entrepreneurship Research Center. He taught internationally at the University of Warsaw School of Economics. Loving travel, he had visited 125 countries throughout his life.
Erickson was an author and co-author of many books, including the influential textbook, An Introduction to Contemporary Business. Last year saw the publication of his memoir, The End of Evil: Ruminations on My Life, Investing and Discovering the Holy Spirit.
Erickson served on the editorial board of the Antitrust Law and Economic Review and has been published in Business Age. He was a consultant for the attorney general of Michigan, the Ohio Turnpike Authority, and Johnson Readymix Concrete Co. as well as serving on the board of directors of the Citizens League and the Foundation for Constitutional Education.
"Bruce was a wonderful colleague," said Professor Andrew Van de Ven. "His door was always open, and there seemed to be a never-ending number of faculty and students seeking Bruce's advice. I am grateful to have been one of them. Bruce never engaged in small talk. He was an inquisitive scholar, always asking challenging, thought-provoking questions, such as 'What did you learn in teaching your class today?' or 'How will your study influence management thought and practice?' Bruce was an exemplary professor, colleague, and friend. I miss him dearly."
Erickson was born in Evanston, Ill. on March 4, 1938. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Clifford Erickson, and mother, Dr. Mildred Brinkmeier Erickson. He is survived by sister, Marilyn Esposito; niece, Laura Perfetto (Paul) and son Louis; nephew, Andrew Esposito (Julie) and sons Christopher and Cameron; special friends, Robert and Shirley Hreha; and many friends and colleagues.