Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Office of the Provost

Austin E. Cofrin Endowed Chair of Business

The Austin E. Cofrin Professorship in Management was established in 2005 by Dr. David Cofrin, his wife, Mary Ann, and the Cofrin children; in honor of Dr. Cofrin’s father, Austin E. Cofrin.  The endowment was later transitioned to Austin E. Cofrin Endowed Chair of Business in 2014.

In 1919, when he was 36, Mr. Cofrin, along with a few dozen employees, founded Fort Howard Paper Company, a small paper company on the west shore of the Fox River in Green Bay.  His fierce independence, rugged individualism, resourcefulness, leadership, and drive set the character of the company that prospered and grew to be one of the largest tissue products paper companies in the world.  The company is today carries the Georgia Pacific name and is a part of the Koch Industries Company.

The classic self-made man, Mr. Cofrin built an organization that served as a model for others as it was lean, focused, and devoted to a core business. Its efficiencies were legendary. The personal qualities that Mr. Cofrin instilled in his organization in its early decades were evident to all: independence, self-sufficiency, pragmatism, commitment to employees, and plain hard work.

Mr. Cofrin, known affectionately as A.E. by his employees and business associates, served as president of the company until 1960, when he passed the mantle of leadership to his son, John. Throughout his career, he was an unpretentious, hands-on manager, not afraid to dirty his hands and work directly with mill personnel to deal with problems. His commitment to his company was total, and it was not uncommon for him to sleep on a cot in the basement of the mill to be near the action. 

Mr. Cofrin died in 1980 at age 96. 

The award recognizes and gives support for a professor who has demonstrated a productive commitment to scholarship and/or outreach and whose work exemplifies the spirit and mission of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay. The Austin E. Cofrin Professorship is specified to those who work directly with business leaders, business development, or UWGB students who later enter the business world.

Austin E. Cofrin Endowed Chair of Business Honoree

2014 - David J. Radosevich
Degrees: B.A. in psychology, Western Maryland College
Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York 
Associate Prof. of Management

Austin E. Cofrin Professorship in Management Honoree

2009 - John Stoll
Degrees: B.S., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
M.S., University of Kentucky 
Ph.D., University of Kentucky 
Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs