The School of Labor and Employment Relations will be hosting a memorial service for Professor Craig Olson on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 2 p.m. in the Wagner Education Center at the School.
Professor Olson passed away in February, following a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Laura Nevius, his son Andrew, daughter-in-law Allie Clarke Olson, grandchildren Felix and Bridie, daughter Krista, and her fiance, Jake Butler.
Professor Olson, B.S. 1974, M.S. 1977, Ph.D, 1979, did his graduate work in industrial relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From1985 and until his arrival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000, was on the faculty at UW-Madison, where he held a joint appointment in the School of Business and the Industrial Relations Research Institute. At UW, he was the Wolfe Professor of Business Research and he served for five years as director of the Industrial Relations Research Institute. In addition to his tenure at Wisconsin, he also taught at Purdue University, SUNY-Buffalo, University of Hawaii-Manoa, University of Harbin (China), Princeton University, and MIT. He was the first recipient of the LER Alumni Professorship.
Professor Olson is published widely in the field of industrial relations and was regarded as one of the leading scholars in the field. His research appeared in leading journals in psychology (Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Labor Economics), as well as the leading journals in industrial relations (Industrial Relations and Industrial and Labor Relations Review).
He studied the decision-making process of arbitrators and how labor and management negotiate under the threat of arbitration; the determinants of strike activity in the public and private sector; the impact of human resource management practices on organizational performance; the relationship between school quality and the labor market outcomes of high school graduates; the trade-offs workers make between wages and job safety, wages and health insurance benefits; and compensation, stock options, and CEO pay.
Professor Olson's research has been supported by the Sloan and Russell Sage Foundations. In 1999, he was one of two recipients in the social sciences at UW-Madison of a Kellen Mid-Career Research Award from the UW-Graduate School. Ph.D. students he worked with hold positions at a variety of institutions, including Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Minnesota, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of South Carolina, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of Illinois.
Those who wish to honor Professor Olson's memory are encouraged to make a gift to Save the Boundary Waters (https://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/) or the Scholars Fund at the School of Labor and Employment Relations (https://ler.illinois.edu/alumni/give/) with a note that the gift is in honor of Professor Craig Olson.
If you plan to attend the memorial service, please help us plan for nametags and refreshments and send RSVP at https://surveys.illinois.edu/sec/8559004.