Professor of Marketing and Psychological Science
The Paul Merage School of Business
University of California, Irvine
With a 30-year career dedicated to excellence in scholarship and business education, Eric R. Spangenberg has served The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine, as dean since June 2014.
Dr. Spangenberg earned his PhD from the University of Washington in 1990 and joined the faculty at the Carson College of Business at Washington State University (WSU) where he was named the Maughmer Freedom Philosophy Chair and Professor of Marketing in 2003. He also served as dean of the Carson College from 2005 to 2014. International appointments include a Fulbright International Education Administrator position in France and Germany in 2014 and a Permanent Visiting Faculty position in the Center for Customer Insight at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland since 2010.
Spangenberg is an active volunteer for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the largest and most prestigious international accrediting body for business school where he elected to the Board of Directors in 2017.
At UC Irvine, Spangenberg has led several initiatives, including engaging and strengthening ties with the external business community both locally and abroad. He has motivated strategic curricular updates to the MBA as well as development of a hybridized (partially online), part-time MBA program, one-year specialized masters programs in finance, data analytics, and entrepreneurship, a completely online minor in undergraduate business as well as a pilot online undergraduate program designed to help meet the University’s demand for business programs. Student application numbers and enrollments have flourished during his tenure as dean. International expansion initiatives include international residentials for undergraduates and several additional such programs for MBAs including a unique program in Cuba. Executive Education programs have grown through partnerships with Orange County-located businesses as well as Swiss, Korean, and Chinese universities. He led the Merage School strategic planning process articulating a clear vision and reward structure. He has also prioritized the recruitment of faculty and students across several disciplines and programs significantly enriching diversity of the Merage School community. Preparing for the public phase of UCI’s comprehensive capital campaign, Spangenberg has assembled an advancement team that has raised over $15 million and put processes in place to ensure significant endowment growth for the School.
While at WSU, Spangenberg published and taught in consumer behavior as well as hospitality management, psychology, and statistics—both at home and around the world. Such experience led to his consideration of untapped opportunities for the Carson College. He motivated strategic curriculum revisions, realized historic increases in MBA and PhD enrollments, and established several entrepreneurial academic initiatives both domestically and abroad. Under his leadership, the Carson College’s internationally ranked School of Hospitality initiated a complete undergraduate degree in hospitality in Switzerland as well as at multiple locations in the state of Washington. He led a team in developing number-one-ranked online MBA programs, generating significant revenue streams. Online undergraduate degree programs at the Carson College grew by more than 50 percent and international business programs were highly ranked during Spangenberg’s tenure. He also led the Carson College in successfully raising over $75 million during the university’s campaign.
Spangenberg is a highly cited and widely recognized international scholar. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and other materials across several key areas of research in marketing and consumer psychology. His topics of inquiry include: environmental psychology, consumer skepticism toward advertising, question-behavior effects, psychometrics, and brand extended self-construal. Most known for his work on the effects of olfactory and musical cues in the retail environment and the effects of self-prediction on people's behavior, his work has been popularly covered in The Economist, Fast Company, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as on the BBC, CBS, Yahoo News, Salon and Boing, plus numerous other international print, television and online media outlets. He has also been consulted by such outlets and commercial interests as an expert in these areas as well as regarding the business of online education.
Spangenberg maintains professional affiliations with the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association for Consumer Research, the American Psychological Association, and the Society for Consumer Psychology.