Crooke joins University of Oregon as first Avamere Professor of Practice

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Dec. 3, 2012) -- The concept is simple: Bring insight from the field directly to the student. No intermediary, no lag time. Such is the intent of a new classification of professor already being experienced by the students of the UO Lundquist College of Business.

Known as the Professor of Practice, this non-tenured faculty position is to be held by a limited number of eminently qualified business, academic, or government thought leaders who have made major impacts on fields and disciplines important to University of Oregon programs. Each Professor of Practice will spend a significant amount of time working with students and faculty to apply academic learning in a practical context.

After an extensive search, the Lundquist College of Business selected Dr. Michael Crooke to serve as its first Professor of Practice, which was funded through a private gift and is known as the Avamere Professor of Practice. Crooke has served as the CEO or president of a number of companies including Patagonia, Kelty, Yakima, Pearl Izumi, and Revolution Living. Crooke concurrently serves in Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, where he leads the school’s Social, Ethical, and Environmental Responsibility (SEER) certification program.

Crooke grew up in Oregon and is a former Navy SEAL.

Michael Crooke, University of Oregon’s inaugural Professor of Practice says:

“From Patagonia to Pepperdine, I have enjoyed the challenge of working with great teams and excellent programs and making them even better.  Oregon is a homecoming for me and I’m eager to roll up my sleeves and work directly with students, professors, members of the college’s leadership team, and friends in the business community to help further the college’s ambitious goals in developing the next generation of leaders.”

Crooke is working within the Business Innovation Institute, led by new Managing Director John Hull, which includes the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the Lundquist College of Business.

Oregon and institutions like it have been bringing in experienced professionals to interact with students for some time. It is the University of Oregonthat underwent the demanding process, lead by Lundquist College Dean Kees de Kluyver, of formalizing a new professorship position at the state level.

Now colleges and universities throughout Oregon may leverage this model.
More than just a visiting instructor, the Avamere Professor of Practice has a hand in developing curriculum and programs, as well as being a frontline liaison to government and industry. The Avamere Professor of Practice is an integral part of the college: valued for his or her substantial experience, respected as a full academic professor.

John Hull, Managing Director, UO Business Innovation Institute says:

“The Avamere Professor of Practice is just one example of how the Business Innovation Institute and the University of Oregon are evolving and leading the way in new approaches to learning. It’s one of several refreshing, dynamic aspects of the new institute and a wonderful addition to our recent hires, who are leading many exciting developments at the college."

Kees de Kluyver, Dean, Lundquist College of Business says:

“The goals of the Lundquist College so thoroughly and ideally align with Michael Crooke’s business philosophy. His hard work and leadership at his previous posts is worthy of emulation. With Michael on our team, I see great opportunities for him, the businesses and professionals with which we partner, and most of all, our students. I can’t conceive of a more apt individual to lead off this new class of professor.”

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT:Joe Mosley, UO media relations, 541-346-3606,

SOURCE:John Hull, Director, UO Business Innovation Institute. 541-346-8953,,

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink capacity, and a radio studio with an ISDN phone line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.