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Bill Hardgrave to Leave RFID Research Center

The founder and director of the University of Arkansas' RFID research laboratory has been named the dean of Auburn University's College of Business.
By Mark Roberti
Jul 08, 2010Dr. Bill Hardgrave, the founder and director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, has been named dean of the College of Business at Alabama's Auburn University.

As of Aug. 1, 2010, Hardgrave will no longer be officially associated with the RFID Research Center, though he notes that he will continue to involve himself in the lab's work. "I will still be involved with some of the lab's major research projects, but it will be run day to day by Justin Patton and David Cromhout," Hardgrave says. "They have been involved with the lab since before it was officially founded, so it is in very capable hands."

Dr. Bill Hardgrave
In Hardgrave's place, Moez Limayem, a University of Arkansas professor and the chair of the college's Information Systems department, has been named the interim executive director of the Information Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and the RFID Research Center.

Matthew Waller, a University of Arkansas professor and the college's Garrison Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management, is running a major research project that is currently underway into the benefits apparel suppliers can achieve from RFID-tagging items. "We have an increasing number of faculty getting involved in the lab's research," Hardgrave says. "They are taking ownership of the work, so I feel good about the lab's ability to continue to move the industry forward."

According to Hardgrave, the decision to leave the University of Arkansas was a difficult one. "I've been here for 17 years, and I love the university," he states. "I have been given a lot of freedom to be entrepreneurial, and do things like creating the RFID lab. I have enjoyed the opportunity, but being the dean of the College of Business at Auburn—an outstanding university—was a fantastic opportunity that I couldn't pass up."

Hardgrave says he plans to maintain his current level of research in RFID, and to play a thought-leadership role in the industry. "Although I am leaving the University of Arkansas, I am not leaving RFID," he says. "I don't want to back away from RFID at all. Determining the business value of RFID is important, and I am committed to investigating this issue, to help the industry and individual companies. I believe RFID offers businesses a great opportunity to improve the way they operate, and I want to see it become ubiquitous, so I will stay fully engaged."
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