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Internet Commerce Experts Come to Riverside

UCR Hires Two Pioneering Internet Retail Scholars

Donna Hoffman and Thomas Novak set to leave Vanderbilt for UC Riverside’s School of Management.

(May 2, 2006)

Donna L. Hoffman, top, and Thomas P. Novak, bottom

Donna L. Hoffman, top, and Thomas P. Novak, bottom

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — www.ucr.eduDonna L. Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak, internationally recognized, award winning scholars of electronic commerce and Internet marketing at Vanderbilt University, will be joining the faculty at the University of California, Riverside’s A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management in July.

Professor Hoffman will join as the Chancellor’s Chair and Professor Novak will join as the Albert O. Steffey Professor of Marketing.

Hoffman and Novak, co-directors of Vanderbilt’s Sloan Center for Internet Retailing, will be bringing their expertise to AGSM’s growing Department of Management and Marketing. Their Sloan Center for Internet Retailing, supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and corporate partners, including founding partners and Lands’ End, will follow Hoffman and Novak and move to UC Riverside.

Hoffman and Novak will also launch eLab 2.0 at UCR, the second generation of the pioneering research lab they co-founded in 1994 that The New York Times has called one of the “premier research centers in the world for the study of electronic commerce.” The Sloan Center will leverage eLab’s unique virtual lab research infrastructure to study the enormous challenges facing the dynamic and rapidly evolving Internet retailing industry.

The pair was recently voted the top Internet scientists worldwide by more than 600 U.S. and European scientists and marketing managers in an international survey. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill named them Distinguished Graduate Alumni in 2002, and, in 2005, they each received the Stellner Distinguished Scholar Award from the University of Illinois for their pioneering achievements and contributions to the field of marketing. Their early scholarly article on “Marketing in Hypermedia Computer-Mediated Environments: Conceptual Foundations," published in the Journal of Marketing in 1996 recently received the 2005 Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award for long-term contributions to the discipline of marketing. The award is administered through the American Marketing Association.

“These are among the most important senior hires in the history of AGSM and place the School on the national radar screen,” said Raymond Williams, interim dean of the graduate school of management.

Hoffman’s research focuses on Internet marketing strategy, consumer behavior in online environments, and the policy implications of commercializing the Internet. She has published widely in the major journals in her field. Along with establishing the world’s first graduate business school e-commerce research program in 1994, Hoffman and Novak launched the first MBA e-commerce curriculum of its type a year later in 1995. That program was named one of the top 10 e-commerce programs in the country by the industry publication Business 2.0.

“The opportunity to play a significant leadership role in building the business school at AGSM was simply too good to pass up,” said Professor Novak.

“Additionally, when you consider the impressive growth trajectory that UCR is on, and the strong emphasis on building the professional and graduate schools, not to mention the runaway growth in the vibrant Inland Empire, the opportunity to make a real difference for years to come is compelling,” added Hoffman. “We’re looking forward to taking an active role in this dynamic and exciting research community.”

Novak’s research explores Web commerce issues such as the online consumer experience, online research methodology, Internet marketing strategy, and electronic commerce policy issues such as the digital divide, privacy and trust.

“The addition of Donna Hoffman and Tom Novak to the Department of Management and Marketing will have a tremendous impact on multiple facets of AGSM,” said Associate Professor of Marketing and Chair of the Department of Management and Marketing, Shuba Srinivasan. “In terms of research, it will place the school at the forefront of innovative research in all aspects of the marketing discipline. For our students, particularly those interested in focusing their studies on Marketing, we will be able to offer considerable depth and breadth of courses.”

Hoffman and Novak have published widely on Web-based commerce including articles in Science, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Communications of the ACM, and the Harvard Business Review.

Hoffman has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from UC Davis. Novak has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Oberlin College. The pair received their Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Hoffman’s doctorate degree was in quantitative psychology with a formal minor in marketing from the Graduate School of Business Administration. Novak’s doctorate degree was in quantitative psychology with a formal minor in biostatistics from the School of Public Health.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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