Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Robert C. Dauffenbach

The inevitability of change due to technology and the striving for efficiency is the fate of modern society. There are those who welcome it and those who resist it; lucky indeed are the communities who have members who understand the needs, who can coordinate the individuals in the community, and bring about change that satisfies all and serves as a model to others. Robert C. Dauffenbach of the University of Oklahoma (OU) is one such individual who has the ability to usher in change and make it palatable.

Growing up in Wichita, Robert Dauffenbach earned a B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Wichita State University. He next obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois. He then became an assistant professor at Wayne State University from 1973 to 1975, served two years as Research Economist at the Center for Advanced Computation at the University of Illinois, and in fall 1977 became an assistant professor at Oklahoma State University reaching the rank of professor in 1987. He served a sabbatical year at Oak Ridge National Labs. During these years Professor Dauffenbach established a national reputation in analysis and projections of scientist and engineering demand and supply for the National Science Foundation, contributing to NSF’s Science Indicators reports. His publishing credentials include authoring nearly fifteen journal articles on subjects relating to labor supply in such important forums as Journal of Economic Development, Journal of Economics and Business, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Labor Research, and Journal of Management. Likewise, he was busily engaged in obtaining research grants from such agencies as the Ford Foundation, State of Michigan, State of Oklahoma, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Malaysian government.

After thirteen years at Oklahoma State, he was recruited to become the Director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma in 1990, with a concurrent position of professor of business administration and economics in the College of Business. Professor Dauffenbach taught management information science (MIS) courses and economic modeling (econometrics) to MBA students and undergraduates. The Center for Economic and Management Research ran forecasts of the economy of Oklahoma and the region for businesses and government officials. Professor Dauffenbach took on a much more public role. He has served as advisor to the State Director of Finance, to the Tax Policy Commission, to the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, to the Oklahoma City Financial Executives Institute, to various Oklahoma governors, and presently to business outlook conferences (now numbering about 8-10 events per year). Over this period he earned grants from a variety of state agencies and private companies and published sixteen articles on aspects of Oklahoma's economy and its development prospects. As his public duties multiplied, he as well advanced in administrative positions. By 2002 he became the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs at the Michael F. Price College of Business and in 2014 was named the Senior Associate Dean for Economic Development and Impact.

In his capacity as administrator for research and graduate programs, Professor Dauffenbach aided in making stunning changes to the MBA program at the University of Oklahoma. He formulated changes to allow the students to graduate one semester earlier than was possible under the old curriculum by altering the means of earning credit hours, while maintaining quality programming. He was able to gain support for his proposed changes by carefully attending to the concerns of faculty, students, and administrators. As well, he created tracks for students who already had considerable business experience, for those holding down full-time positions, as well as for full-time students. The program has been so successful that it has been adopted by other graduate programs at OU and is being considered by other institutions of higher learning.

Not least among the achievements of Professor Dauffenbach has been to underscore for public leaders the impact of collegiate education for Oklahoma citizens. In the 2015 report of the Center for Economic Management and Research, he related that every $1 in legislative appropriation for higher education yielded an economic impact of $8.55. These statistics and related occupational lifetime earnings differentials help to convey to all Oklahomans the value of higher education.

For his efforts on behalf of informing Oklahoma of the state of their economy and for his dedication to improving education by incorporating changes to the curriculum, the OHEHS is proud to induct Robert C. Dauffenbach into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.