June 01, 2005

Siva K. Balasubramanian Faculty member named Fulbright research chair

by Bonnie Marx


Siva K. Balasubramanian

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A marketing professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will head to Canada next spring to become the Fulbright research chair at the University of Alberta at Edmonton's School of Business

Siva K. Balasubramanian, SIUC's Henry J. Rehn Professor of Marketing, holds the distinction of being SIUC's first Fulbright research chair, although there have been dozens of Fulbright scholars at SIUC since the inception of the awards in 1960.

The announcement of Balasubramanian's award followed a yearlong, highly competitive and multi-staged review process in both the U.S. and Canada. Chaired positions in the Fulbright program are highly prestigious because only a few such positions are available and the competition for them is intense.

Balasubramanian and his marketing colleagues at the University of Alberta are planning research collaborations during the semester-long visit. Balasubramanian also plans to present research findings at several Canadian universities and teach a doctoral seminar on marketing strategy.

At SIUC, Balasubramanian teaches graduate-level courses. His research centers around three themes: managing marketing communications, measurement of marketing constructs and diffusion models.

"I know a lot of people in Edmonton," Balasubramanian said. "I'm looking forward to productive research. We have identified the need for marketing strategy. They don't have that experience in their own faculty."

Assembling the required materials needed to place and keep him in the running for the award was "almost like a tenure and promotion process," Balasubramanian said, noting that he submitted letters of recommendation and reams of other documentation.

Balasubramanian is particularly impressed by the government support Canadian researchers enjoy. In the U.S., endowed chairs are funded from private sources. In Canada, the government provides resources and works in close collaboration with university researchers.

One of Balasubramanian's goals during his time in Canada is to explore new sources of funding for SIUC researchers.

The Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program provides grants to the best Canadian and American graduate students, faculty, professionals and independent researchers to conduct research, study or lecture in the other country in an effort to develop future leaders and encourage scholars to tackle important contemporary issues.

Long regarded as the world's premier academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program attracts top-notch scholars from more than 150 countries worldwide.

Leading in research, scholarly and creative activities is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.