BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Friends, family and colleagues of Craig Holden hope a new doctoral fellowship being established in his name will be a fitting way to honor his memory and his many valued contributions to the Finance Department at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and to the profession.
Holden, a Kelley School faculty member for more than three decades, had led the department as its chair since 2018 and was the Gregg T. and Judith A. Summerville Chair of Finance when he died on April 3 at the age of 65.
“Craig was more than just a great researcher, teacher and administrator; he was a colleague and friend to so many in the Kelley School family. Over his many years on the faculty, Craig contributed mightily to our school’s mission, and he reflected our school’s values,” said Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair in Strategic Management. “We will always be grateful to him for showing us what it means to be a true organizational citizen in service to our school and stakeholders.”
Sreeni Kamma, chairperson of finance graduate programs, associate professor of finance and the E-II Faculty Fellow, said the finance department lost a valued and collegial leader and mentor and that the finance profession lost a leading scholar and stalwart supporter of research collaboration.
“Craig was the mainstay of our doctoral program. He chaired over 22 doctoral dissertations and served in at least 40 other dissertation committees. Many doctoral students owed their future careers to him,” Kamma said. “Craig inspired not only their research but trained them to be good teachers as well. He was instrumental in starting the teaching seminar for doctoral students to help them become better teachers and taught the course himself for several years.
“His generosity in sharing research ideas, research strategies, data and computer programs, teaching materials and effective classroom skills helped jumpstart many careers,” Kamma added. “His students now contribute to the profession from virtually all corners of the globe. Their contributions are a fitting testament to Craig’s legacy and will have a lasting impact.”
A leading scholar and innovator
Holden made seminal contributions to the field of market microstructure, which was his passion, with 22 publications as well as four Excel modeling textbooks — many in their fourth edition. He was one of the most highly cited scholars in the department with over 4,700 Google Scholar citations.
He had served as associate editor of the Journal of Financial Markets since 1997, which Kamma pointed out was “an exceptionally unusually long tenure.” He also was secretary treasurer of the Society for Financial Studies since 2012, in which role he “assiduously sought to promote a fair and transparent editorial process for finance scholars.”
In a statement, the Society for Financial Studies said of Holden, “Craig was a wonderful colleague who cared greatly for his coworkers, his students, and for the profession. He spoke fondly of his family, of the Kelley School of Business, and of UCLA, where he earned his PhD. The SFS is better for his involvement these past nine years, and we will miss him greatly.”
Partly through Holden’s efforts, the Kelley School became a leader during the pandemic in presenting major academic conferences online. In 2020, the University of North Carolina originally had planned to host the Society for Financial Studies’ 2020 North American Cavalcade. The annual event was nearly cancelled until Holden volunteered to host the entire event virtually with Kelley.
“Craig refused to let the pandemic interrupt research collaboration and became a very effective proselytizer for conducting research conferences online,” Kamma said. “He organized the Kelley School’s tech resources in a very short period of time to mount the very large SFS Calvacade conference.”
In an interview last summer, Holden noted, “this was the first large-scale finance conference – with 135 papers on the program — to be held virtually. There was no registration fee for the conference and it was opened to all registrants who could be verified from around the world. As a result, more than 2,000 people registered for the conference. And they came from 44 countries around the world. This was a truly global conference.”
With only a few weeks of lead time, Holden designed an online format that today serves as a model for many other conferences.
A panel honoring Holden will be held at SFS Cavalcade 2021 at 1:15 pm EST on May 25. Panel speakers will be Stacey Jacobsen, an associate professor of finance at Southern Methodist University and a Kelley alumna; Avanidhar (Subra) Subrahmanyam, Distinguished Professor of finance and the Goldyne and Irwin Hearsh Chair in Money and Banking at UCLA; and Charles Trzcinka, professor of finance and the James W. and Virginia E. Cozad Chair of Finance at Kelley.
Remembering his “collegiality and humanity”
In addition to his academic and professional accomplishments, Holden’s personal qualities and integrity are what he will be remembered for by many, Kamma said.
“Though Craig was extremely passionate about research and teaching, he never let disagreements about these interfere with his collegiality and humanity. In all his years here, we never once saw him angry,” he said. “He would take everything in stride and just carry on and get on with the work of helping everyone realize their potential. His generosity in helping others with their research and teaching was unparalleled.”
As his colleagues slowly attempt to come to terms with the unexpected loss of a loved colleague, they have thought about fitting ways to honor Holden’s memory and his many valued contributions to the school and the finance profession. Over the next few months, the Finance Department will begin announcing several such initiatives, including a conference in his honor.
But, “we start with a signal recognition of the vital role Craig played in helping many individuals start their journeys as finance scholars and educators through our doctoral program,” Kamma said. In recognition of the vital role Holden played in developing budding finance scholars, his colleagues have announced the creation of an endowed doctoral fellowship in his name, the Craig Holden Ph.D. fellowship.
Several Kelley faculty members have already established a seeding amount for the Craig Holden Ph.D. Fellowship and welcome others, including alumni and his peers, to join them in honoring Holden’s memory by helping support future aspirants to the profession.
If you would like to support Craig Holden Ph.D. Fellowship, please use the following link to make your contribution: https://www.myiu.org/one-time-gift?appealid=18ee98ee-34be-4693-817f-918bc625236c&account=P370015550.