November 20, 2015
Longtime University of Michigan-Dearborn faculty member Donald Rossin died Nov. 8. The associate professor of management studies was 68.
Rossin joined the UM-Dearborn faculty in 1994 as assistant professor of operations management. In his first year with the university he served as coordinator of Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT), where he was responsible for developing and managing an educational program for Russian scientists interning at Ford Motor Company.
Later, Rossin was instrumental in launching the supply chain management degree, a program with more than 60 students today.
Colleagues said Rossin was a respected member of the faculty, drawing upon his earlier experiences as an operations manager for Bekins Company. He embraced the case teaching method — he often met with students on the weekends to train them for competitions — and was an early champion of both the flipped classroom and online learning.
“Don was always interested in excellence in teaching and student learning. He was a really innovative teacher,” said Barbara Klein, professor of management information systems, who noted that his office was filled with the puzzles, Legos and marbles he used as teaching tools. “He went beyond writing equations on the chalkboard; he wanted to help his students understand things more clearly.”
In 2014, Rossin began supporting students in a new way. He established the Don Rossin Supply Chain Management Endowed Scholarship to support students in the program. The scholarship is awarded annually with preference given to returning students and military veterans; Rossin, himself, was a former member of the U.S. Army.
Outside of the classroom, colleagues said Rossin was a gifted and noted researcher whose most recent research focused on new performance measures and models for supply chain management. He was well known in the industry, publishing articles in some of the its leading publications — including Management Science, Decision Sciences, Journal of Operations Management and OMEGA — and presenting at conferences internationally. In 2000, he helped organize the International Conference on Information Quality.
Klein, who worked with Rossin on several research projects, said, “Don was always interested in interdisciplinary work. We ended up doing projects that were at the intersection of our interests — operations management and information systems.”
Rossin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University, an M.B.A. from California State University and a Ph.D. in management from University of California at Los Angeles.
Prior to serving at UM-Dearborn, he held academic positions at Vanderbilt University and California State University. Rossin served in the U.S. Army and was posted in Hanau, Germany, where he was responsible for dispatching aircraft and maintaining certification records for pilots, helicopters and fixed-winged aircraft.
— Submitted by UM-Dearborn