Portrait of Francine Lafontaine ROSS Logo

Francine Lafontaine

Interim Dean
Stephen M. Ross School of Business

In this season of gratitude, I’d like to thank you for your past gifts to the University of Michigan Ross School of Business — and hope you might consider renewing support to the school with a gift to the Annual Fund.

Although we’ve all faced many challenges in recent times due to the global pandemic, what has remained consistent at Michigan Ross is our commitment to improving the world through business and business education. Our faculty, staff, and students have turned obstacles into opportunities and remained steadfast in their focus on impact-driven business research, education, and learning experiences.

As you likely know, I was named interim dean of Michigan Ross in the spring. Although I am still new to this position, I am not new to Ross and throughout my 30 years here, I have been actively dedicated to our school’s mission and commitment to excellence in business education. I joined the Ross faculty as an assistant professor in 1991, became an associate professor in 1995 and a full professor in 2000. I became the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration in 2010. I served as area chair of the Business Economics and Public Policy for nine years, and then took on the role of Senior Associate Dean for faculty and research from 2016 to 2020, at which point I became Associate Dean for Business + Impact.

It has been a true honor to be selected to serve as interim dean at Michigan Ross, and it has already been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. My predecessor, Scott DeRue, led the school with strategic vision, enthusiasm, and a passion for our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. He contributed to an already strong and solid foundation for the school’s future, which I can continue to build on in my tenure as dean.

Your generosity to Michigan Ross has been instrumental in helping the school navigate the many challenges we face. With your continued support, we will be able to continue to provide the full impact of the Michigan Ross experience to students from all walks of life, offer action-based learning experiences that foster our students’ purpose-driven leadership skills, and pursue solutions-focused research to help solve pressing societal issues.

Thanks to donor support, during this past year alone, Michigan Ross has been able to:

  • Provide another life-changing World of Difference Scholarship. This past year’s recipient, Jonaé Maxey, BBA ‘21, founded her own real estate business to develop
    homes in her native Detroit.
  • Launch the first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Global Case Writing Competition, a challenge with the goal of eliciting and sharing case studies that encourage critical thinking around effective DEI measures in business.
  • Host our first Innovation Residency, giving Online MBA students the opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
  • Support award-winning faculty members in pursuing and publishing solutions-focused research.
  • Develop and announce our new Master of Business Analytics, a 10-month residential program that complements our portfolio of top-ranked one-year master’s programs.

These are just some of the many ways your philanthropy makes a positive impact on our students, our faculty, our school, and the world. With your ongoing support, we are able to continue fulfilling our mission even in uncertain times. I invite you to renew your commitment to Leaders and Best by making a gift to the Michigan Ross Annual Fund today.

In gratitude,

Signature of Francine Lafontaine

Francine Lafontaine
Interim Dean
William Davidson Professor of Business Administration

Although we’ve all faced many challenges in recent times due to the global pandemic, what has remained consistent at Michigan Ross is our commitment to improving the world through business and business education. Our faculty, staff, and students have turned obstacles into opportunities and remained steadfast in their focus on impact-driven business research, education, and learning experiences.

As you likely know, I was named interim dean of Michigan Ross in the spring. Although I am still new to this position, I am not new to Ross and throughout my 30 years here, I have been actively dedicated to our school’s mission and commitment to excellence in business education. I joined the Ross faculty as an assistant professor in 1991, became an associate professor in 1995 and a full professor in 2000. I became the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration in 2010. I served as area chair of the Business Economics and Public Policy for nine years, and then took on the role of Senior Associate Dean for faculty and research from 2016 to 2020, at which point I became Associate Dean for Business + Impact.

It has been a true honor to be selected to serve as interim dean at Michigan Ross, and it has already been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. My predecessor, Scott DeRue, led the school with strategic vision, enthusiasm, and a passion for our students, alumni, faculty, and staff. He contributed to an already strong and solid foundation for the school’s future, which I can continue to build on in my tenure as dean.

Your generosity to Michigan Ross has been instrumental in helping the school navigate the many challenges we face. With your continued support, we will be able to continue to provide the full impact of the Michigan Ross experience to students from all walks of life, offer action-based learning experiences that foster our students’ purpose-driven leadership skills, and pursue solutions-focused research to help solve pressing societal issues.

Thanks to donor support, during this past year alone, Michigan Ross has been able to:

  • Provide another life-changing World of Difference Scholarship. This past year’s recipient, Jonaé Maxey, BBA ‘21, founded her own real estate business to develop
    homes in her native Detroit.
  • Launch the first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Global Case Writing Competition, a challenge with the goal of eliciting and sharing case studies that encourage critical thinking around effective DEI measures in business.
  • Host our first Innovation Residency, giving Online MBA students the opportunity to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.
  • Support award-winning faculty members in pursuing and publishing solutions-focused research.
  • Develop and announce our new Master of Business Analytics, a 10-month residential program that complements our portfolio of top-ranked one-year master’s programs.

These are just some of the many ways your philanthropy makes a positive impact on our students, our faculty, our school, and the world. With your ongoing support, we are able to continue fulfilling our mission even in uncertain times. I invite you to renew your commitment to Leaders and Best by making a gift to the Michigan Ross Annual Fund today.

In gratitude,

Signature of Francine Lafontaine

Francine Lafontaine
Interim Dean
William Davidson Professor of Business Administration

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