BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Kelley School of Business suffered a tremendous loss on Oct. 10 with the death of Timothy T. Baldwin, the Randall L. Tobias Chair in Leadership and a faculty member for more than three decades.
“It will be hard to imagine the Kelley School without Tim’s infectious smile, friendly demeanor, and high energy,” said Ash Soni, interim dean of the Kelley School and the SungKyunKwan Professor, expressing the thoughts of many. “Tim was a friend to many, and I know this loss will be hard to process.”
“Tim was a beloved colleague and friend and positively affected the lives of so many faculty, students and staff over his 35 years of devoted service,” added Dan Li, chairperson of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and the L. Leslie Waters Chair in International Business. “He’s always, always, been there to give, to support and to lead. The world is a dimmer place without this amazing person.”
The school and its faculty and staff are sending their condolences and support to Baldwin’s wife, JoEllen, and their son, Matt, along with many tributes from professional colleagues, former students, and friends on social media.
A Michigander by education, Baldwin was a Hoosier most of his professional life. He came to IU and Kelley in 1987 from Michigan State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. degrees. He also briefly worked in corporate recruitment for the American Hospital Supply Corporation in the early 1980s.
Baldwin taught in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, which he chaired from 2014 to 2020. He was a world-renowned scholar and teacher and was devoted to IU and the Kelley School with his innumerable service contributions.
His teaching and research, for which he was recognized with many awards, focused on leadership, human resources, and organizational development. He published more than 50 academic journal articles and book chapters including several “field classics” on the topic of transfer of employee knowledge and skills from training contexts to their work.
“It was an appropriate topic for Tim to be passionate about, as he was keenly interested in how the Academy could better serve practitioners and students with actionable insights. His default question to candidates at department recruiting presentations was how the findings of their research translated to practice,” said Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, associate professor and associate chairperson of management and entrepreneurship, and Li in the department’s remembrance they co-wrote about Baldwin’s professional accomplishments.
Gonzalez-Mulé also is the school’s Eveleigh Professor of Business Leadership, a named professorship that Baldwin previously held.
Baldwin co-authored several books, including “Improving Transfer Systems In Organizations” and “Organizational Behavior: Real Solutions to Real Challenges.” He won several competitive national and international research awards over his career, including eight best-paper awards from the Academy of Management. He twice was the recipient of the Richard A. Swanson Excellence in Research Award presented by the American Society for Training & Development.
A passionate and impactful educator
Baldwin frequently was recognized for teaching excellence, including multiple MBA and undergraduate teaching awards, the Eli Lilly Alumni Teaching Award, the FACET All-University Teaching Award and the Dow Innovation in Teaching Fellowship.
“As a teacher, Tim had an impact on innumerable students,” Li and Gonzalez-Mulé wrote. “He developed and taught a litany of courses on the topics of organizational behavior and human resource management at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive education levels, in both in-residence and online modalities.”
At the time of his death, Baldwin was the faculty liaison for Executive Degree Programs at the Kelley School. He was also passionate about doctoral education. He chaired five doctoral dissertations and was a member of several dozen dissertation committees. He also worked tirelessly to raise funds to establish a doctoral fellowship for students in the department.
“I wouldn’t have become a professor without Tim,” said Jason Colquitt, the Franklin D. Schurz Professor of Management and Organization at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and an IU alumnus. “I know there are hundreds more stories like mine. Tim leaves behind a legacy of shaping so many lives in such profound and meaningful ways. We were all blessed to have known him.”
Baldwin’s teaching also had a profound impact outside the walls of the Kelley School at a variety of public and private sector organizations, including as a consultant for companies such as Cummins Engine, Eli Lilly, FedEx and Whirlpool.
A leader and mentor to many
The department’s remembrance noted that where Baldwin left his “greatest professional impact was as a leader at the Kelley School.”
As department chair, he oversaw the rapid growth of the department by recruiting more 20 full-time faculty members.
“He was a trusted mentor, confidante, and supporter to all,” Gonzalez-Mulé and Li wrote. “He helped establish a culture of collegiality, mutual respect, and support and served as the veritable ‘glue’ that held the department together, through thick and thin. “He had a preternatural ability to foster a sense of community and closeness even as the department grew. No matter what personal or professional difficulties faculty were facing, you knew Tim would do what he could to provide resources and assistance.”
A new member of the Kelley School faculty in 2021, Catherine Kleshinski, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship, offered her experience at a message board that was set up for colleagues and friends to offer their thoughts.
“Tim’s warmth, kindness, and positive energy are unforgettable. His impact on our department, Kelley, and the field cannot be quantified,” Kleshinski said. “In terms of his impact on me, I’ll always remember how friendly he was during my first year as his junior colleague, playing a huge part in making me feel welcome.”
Trent Williams, associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship and the William L. Haeberle Professor of Entrepreneurship, added, “Tim spread joy, love, excitement, and a passion for life that is beyond comparison. If you were in his presence, he praised you. When outside your presence he was even better — he bolstered and enabled you without you even knowing, spreading positivity and support. If you accomplished something, he lauded it as if it were the greatest thing ever done. If you failed, he consoled you and softened the blow—encouraging you to try again. Tim was always in my corner, watching my back and clearing my path forward.”
Beyond his departmental and scholarly activities, Baldwin served the university in several ways. Among them was as an IU Athletics faculty sponsor from 2011 to 2020. “In our nine years at Indiana University, there was no faculty member that helped us more than Tim Baldwin,” former IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean said on Twitter. “From helping recruit with the Kelley School to speaking to his class with a lot of ideas, encouragement and books thrown in, Tim was a part of our Basketball family.”
Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean emeritus and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management, said it is not a stretch to say that Baldwin had a profoundly positive influence on everyone he encountered.
“Tim Baldwin was the person whose spirit and positive nature uplifted everyone else,” Kesner said. “I know because I was often the beneficiary of that positive spirit, especially during some of my most challenging times as dean. Indeed, if I had just one word to describe Tim, that would be that word – ‘positive.’”
Laureen Maines, Conrad Prebys Chair and former executive associate dean of faculty and research, agreed, “Tim made us all feel special and taught us how to be leaders and a positive force in our communities. While we will find many ways to honor him, perhaps the best way is to take the love he showed all of us and pass it on to others.”
Baldwin is survived by his wife, JoEllen; son Matthew of Fishers, Indiana; loyal canine, Tucker; stepmother, Marie (Chambers) Baldwin; brother and sister-in-law Scott and Sue Baldwin of Northville, Michigan; brother and sister-in-law Ty and Jana Baldwin of Culver, Indiana. He is also survived by seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Peter C. Baldwin and his mother, Nancy Jane Baldwin.
Visitation will be Friday, November 11 from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard (3000 E. Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47401). A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 12 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church (221 E. Sixth Street, Bloomington, IN 47408). See their websites for additional details at: www.thefuneralchapel.net and www.fpcbloomington.org . The funeral service will be streamed live by First Presbyterian Church at: https://fpcbloomington.online.church/ .
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Tim Baldwin Doctoral Fellowship fund at: https://give.myiu.org/iu-bloomington/I380016096.html.
The Bloomington Herald-Times also published an obituary for Baldwin.