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Dr. J. Ben Arbaugh Passes Away

Posted: June 19th, 2018

Ben ArbaughDr. J. Ben Arbaugh, long-time professor with the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, passed away Saturday, June 16, after a long fight with esophageal cancer. Dr. Arbaugh served as a strategy and project management professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh until his retirement on June 3.

Dr. Arbaugh began teaching with the UW MBA Consortium in 2004 and taught nearly all 461 of the Consortium's graduates to date. Since its creation in 2004, he served on the Consortium's Standards Committee, which is responsible for the development, delivery, and assessment of Consortium courses. Dr. Arbaugh received the Consortium's Outstanding Faculty Award in 2017 and 2012, one of just two professors to have earned that honor twice. Upon nominating Arbaugh for the award in 2017, one student commented that "Professor Ben has been a consistent champion of the MBA students providing relevant curriculum and actively participating in discussions to challenge our understanding and expand our perspective. His dedication goes beyond simply wanting students to pass, but really wants them to apply what we're learning to our work lives."

It's no surprise that Dr. Arbaugh was such a successful online instructor. According to his obituary, "Ben was a pioneer in the world of online education. As one of the leading researchers in the field, Ben had over 80 articles and book chapters published which included 17 best article/best paper awards. He has also published two books related to his work on online learning in business schools. To date, his work has been cited over 9,000 times."

Dr. Arbaugh began his teaching career at UW-Oshkosh in 1994 after earning his Ph.D. in business strategy from The Ohio State University. He earned two other master's degrees, an M.A. in Business Administration/Organization Theory from The Ohio State University in 1993 and an M.B.A. in Management/Organization Behavior from Wright State University in 1989. He received his B.B.A. in Management/Economics from Marshall University in 1984. Between 1985 and 1989, Arbaugh also served in the U.S. Air Force as a project manager in weapons systems acquisitions logistics.

On his CaringBridge page, his wife, Paula Arbaugh, wrote:

"Ben didn't 'lose his battle with cancer,' he ran a good race and he finished well, very well! In fact, there was little lost in this journey and much gained. Ben was able to receive well deserved recognition for his teaching, research and scholarship, he was able to spend sweet time with his parents and siblings which may not have happened otherwise, he was able to hear from friends and colleagues how much he meant to them…"

A celebration of Ben's life will be held Saturday, June 23rd at Community Church in Oshkosh. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the service starting at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will follow the ceremony.

Additional Information
Dr. Arbaugh's Obituary
Oshkosh Northwestern Article from May 2018
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