The University of Alabama

Dr. J. Michael Hardin Named Dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce at UA

Dr. J. Michael Hardin

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. —Dr. J. Michael Hardin has been named the eighth dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at The University of Alabama, succeeding Dr. J. Barry Mason, who has held the position since 1989.

Hardin will assume the dean’s responsibilities Aug. 16.

In making the announcement, Dr. Judy Bonner, UA provost and executive vice president, said, “As senior associate dean of the College of Commerce, Dr. Hardin has gained an intimate working knowledge of the college.This understanding, together with his commitment to both rigor and relevance, will enable him to provide effective leadership immediately. President (Robert E.) Witt and I are strongly committed to working with Dr. Hardin as he assumes these new responsibilities.”

“I am honored to have been selected as dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration,” Hardin said.

“The extremely talented and gifted individuals who have come before me have left enormous shoes to fill, especially Barry Mason. Over the entire course of my career, I have been inspired by his life and have learned so much from his example.

“The faculty members in our college are extraordinary. They excel in research, in teaching and in service to the University, community, state and nation. One of my main goals as dean will be to do whatever I can to help them reach even greater heights.

“I am also very honored by the confidence that President Witt and Provost Bonner have shown in me. Through their leadership, the University has become one of the best in the nation. I look forward to working with them and being a part of the team.

“Our college has been built on a great culture and reputation during the tenure of Dean Mason and has risen to national prominence. My desire is to further this reputation and to continue to build on the excellent culture that we have established. Initially, I plan to focus on the MBA program.”

Hardin, a professor of statistics, holds master’s degrees from Florida State University and UA, and a doctorate in applied statistics from UA. He joined the UA faculty in 2001 and has also served as associate dean for research since 2001.

As senior associate dean for the past three years, Hardin has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the college, including academic programs, enrollment management, and financial and administrative matters, and was involved in assisting faculty members in their career development. He has guided the college through a five-year window of reaccreditation by the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) which began in 2008.

Hardin was selected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2011. This prestigious international award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions in the field of statistical work. The number of recipients is limited to less than one-third of 1 percent of the ASA membership worldwide.

Hardin has written several books dealing with database design and decision support systems, and he often serves as a consultant to the healthcare industry in the fields of data mining, sampling and program integrity. He has been a consultant with the SAS Institute in the areas of data mining and time series analysis since 1999, and he was the first SAS Quality Partner in the state of Alabama.

Over the past five years Hardin has been involved in various campus initiatives, such as the University Entrepreneurship Council, as well as state and regional summits on issues such as health care, developing technology and the economy.

In addition to UA, he has taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mississippi State University, the University of West Florida and Florida State University.

Hardin is a native of Mobile. He and his wife have two children.

Mason has been a member of the UA faculty since 1967 and plans to return to the classroom. He served as head of the department of management and marketing for 16 years before becoming the interim dean of the business school in 1988, and the dean in 1989. Mason also served as the University’s interim president from May 2002 to March 2003.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.