Professor Robert Ruekert, a tireless promoter of the Carlson School's Undergraduate Program, passed away on September 1. He was 59 years old.
Ruekert received his BA in journalism and his MBA and PhD in marketing all at the University of Wisconsin. An expert in brand management and new product development, he joined the Carlson School in 1981 where he taught in the Department of Marketing. His research has been published in top-tier marketing journals, including the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, and MIT's Sloan Management Review, among others.
In 2001, Ruekert assumed the role of associate dean of Undergraduate Programs, in which he led many initiatives to improve the quality of the program. Through his efforts, the Undergraduate Program grew by more than 50 percent, experienced a complete revamping of its curriculum, and moved into its new home, Herbert M. Hanson, Jr. Hall, called by many "the house that Bob built."
"Bob's legacy will leave a lasting imprint on the Carlson School," says Dean Sri Zaheer. "His devotion to the Undergraduate Program and the school as a whole created such a palpable energy around him and brought us to such new heights that it's hard to image how the school would have been without his passion. All of us will greatly miss him."
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that those interested send a donation to the Bob Ruekert Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, c/o Robbie Collins, Carlson School of Management, 321 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455 or visit the website.
Prior to stepping down as associate dean in May 2011, Ruekert reflected on his time in the Undergraduate Program in the Carlson School magazine.
At an event to honor his accomplishments, a video (below) featuring many of those whom Ruekert had touched over the year below was shown.