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Dr. William J. Rothwell

Dr. William J. Rothwell
Phone: 8148632581
Office Address:
310B Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
Campus: University Park


Professor of Education (Workforce Education and Development)


Learning and Performance Systems


Workforce Education and Development


William J. Rothwell is a Professor of Workforce Education and Development. His research interests focus around the competencies of workplace learning and performance professionals, succession planning and talent management. His recent books include Career Planning and Succession Management (Praeger, 2015), Organization Development Fundamentals: Managing Strategic Change (ATD Press, 2015), The Competency Toolkit, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (HRD Press, 2015), Creating Engaged Employees: It’s Worth the Investment (ATD Press, 2014), The Leader’s Daily Role in Talent Management (Institute for Training and Development [Malaysia], 2014), Optimizing Talent in the Federal Workforce (Management Concepts, 2014), Performance Consulting (Wiley, 2014), the ASTD Competency Study: The Training and Development Profession Redefined (ASTD, 2013), Becoming An Effective Mentoring Leader: Proven Strategies for Building Excellence in Your Organization (McGraw-Hill, 2013), Talent Management: A Step-by-Step Action-Oriented Approach Based on Best Practice (HRD Press, 2012), the edited three-volume Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management (Wiley, 2012), Lean But Agile: Rethink Workforce Planning and Gain a True Competitive Advantage (Amacom, 2012), Invaluable Knowledge: Securing Your Company’s Technical Expertise-Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent, Transferring Technical Knowledge, Engaging High Performers (Amacom, 2011), and Competency-Based Training Basics (ASTD Press, 2010).

Areas of Expertise

Human Resources and Work

Career Development
Human Resources Management
Organization Development
Succession Planning
Workforce and Vocational Ed
Workplace Training


Instructional Methods and Design

Methodological Research

Qualitative Research

Organizational Management

Management & Leadership

Education History

He completed a B.A. in English from Illinois State University, an M.B.A. from Sangamon State University, an M.A. (and all courses required for the doctorate) in English from the University of Illinois, and (in a second doctoral program separate from English) a Ph.D. in Education with a specialty in Human Resource Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A registered Organization Development Consultant (RODC) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), he has authored over seventy articles on Human Resource Development and related fields. Between 1979 and 1987, he was Director of Training for the Illinois Office of the Auditor General, a state agency in Illinois that conducts fiscal compliance, management, and program performance audits of all State agencies. It is a bipartisan agency having its own human resources function. Between 1987 and 1992, he was Assistant Vice President and Management Development for the Franklin Life Insurance Company, the 28th largest life insurer in the U.S. (of 1200 companies) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Brands, number 38 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest industrial corporations. In that capacity he was responsible for internal executive, management, supervisory, and clerical training, on-the-job training, and product training. He oversaw a staff of 17 people. He has also been the U.S. editor of The International Journal of Training and Development for a number of years, among other global publications.