Francine Lafontaine To Step In As Michigan Ross Interim Dean

Francine Lafontaine, an associate dean and long-time professor at Michigan Ross, will serve as interim dean starting May 24

Francine Lafontaine, an associate dean and long-time professor at Michigan Ross, will serve as interim dean starting May 24

When Scott DeRue leaves the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business on May 23rd for an undisclosed corporate job, the school expects Associate Dean Francine Lafontaine to take his place on an interim basis. Lafontaine, who leads Business+Impact at Ross, will serve in the role while the university conducts a search for a permanent successor. DeRue announced his unexpected departure in early April.

Lafontaine began her academic career as an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University.  She joined the Michigan Ross faculty as an assistant professor in 1991, and was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and to professor in 2000. She was the Jack D. Sparks – Whirlpool Corporation Research Professor of Business Administration from 2005-07 and has held the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration chair since 2010.

From 2016-20, Lafontaine served as the senior associate dean for faculty and research at Michigan Ross. Prior to that, she served as the director at the Bureau of Economics for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission from fall of 2014 to the end of 2015. She also was the chair of the Business Economics and Public Policy group at Ross from 2003-2012.


“I am truly honored and excited to serve Michigan Ross as interim dean,” said Lafontaine in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Ross community and with colleagues throughout campus in this new capacity. This will surely be one of the greatest experiences of my career.”

“Professor Lafontaine combines her commitments to education and research with a deep dedication to the success of her faculty colleagues and students at Michigan Ross,” said Susan M. Collins, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at U-M. “As interim dean, she will lead the school in furthering its work to ensure that business has a positive impact in the world and assuring continued work toward its goals of diversity and inclusion.”

Her research focuses on industrial organization, vertical relationships, contracting and franchising, and entrepreneurship, along with related public policy issues. She has received several research grants, including from the Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

Lafontaine’s awards and honors include the 2020-2021 Andy Andrews Service Award at Michigan Ross, the Ross senior faculty research award in 2012-2013, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Rennes 1 in 2013.  She served as president of the Society for Institutional & Organizational Economics in 2018-2019 and as president of the Industrial Organization Society from 2010-2012.

She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and master’s degree in applied economics from HEC Montreal at the University of Montreal. She received a PhD in economics from the University of British Columbia.


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