Jose Cruz to Receive Service Excellence Award

Jose Cruz of the UConn School of Business will be presented with the Service Excellence Award from the American Association of University Professors in April. (Nathan Oldham / UConn School of Business)
Jose Cruz of the UConn School of Business will be presented with the Service Excellence Award from the American Association of University Professors in April. (Nathan Oldham / UConn School of Business)

For his outstanding work with the MSBAPM program and other initiatives, OPIM associate professor Jose Cruz will be awarded the Service Excellence Award from the UConn chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Cruz, the academic director of the MSBAPM program, is one of 10 UConn professors who will be honored at an award ceremony from 9 to 10:30 a.m. April 15 at the State Capitol building in Room 310. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to or call 860-487-0450. The awards are designed to showcase academic excellence at UConn.

“Prof. Cruz has always gone above and beyond his service expectations. He does these things happily, spontaneously and without expectation of reward or recognition,” said Professor Suresh Nair, OPIM interim department head. “For these reasons he is among the most popular faculty members I have met–among his peers, his staff, and the students in the program he manages.

“Professor Cruz is self-effacing and modest, yet persistent and has the conviction of ideas and the drive and energy to get things done. That is what makes him succeed spectacularly in his service endeavors. Under his direction the master’s in Business Analytics and Project Management (MSBAPM) program has grown from about 50 students to 500 currently and is among the Top 20 such programs in the country. His use of assessment of learning surveys ensures he keeps improving program content and delivery.”

OPIM professor David Bergman said he cannot think of a more deserving colleague and that Cruz brings a tireless devotion and positive impact to the University.

“The discipline of business analytics is changing at a rapid pace and Jose works hard to ensure that the MSBAPM program remains at the cutting edge,” he wrote in his nomination. “It is easy for an academic degree program to become stale if faculty aren’t working hard to improve upon the course offerings. Jose is always challenging the norm. He asks each of the faculty to improve on their course offerings. This translates to high-quality graduates, enhancing the reputation of the program—and UConn as a whole.”

Bergman went on to say that as a new faculty member, Cruz immediately reached out with a sincere offer to help in any way possible. Bergman said he frequently turns to Cruz for advice and ideas about professional growth.

Professor James Marsden, former OPIM department head, said that when the MSBAPM program was created, it was so groundbreaking there were no others to model it from.

“Jose’s efforts involved innovation and creative thinking,” Marsden said. “His insights helped lead MSBAPM to success in terms of high enrollments, high external rankings and overall recognition.”

He also noted Cruz helped in leading the development of the new Center for the Advancement of Business Analytics (CABA) which attracted three founding partners including Stanley Black & Decker, UTC and LIMRA.

“Cruz has delivered on a level that shines brightly on our department, our school, our university and our state,” Marsden said. “I admire all that he has accomplished and am honored to have him as a colleague.”

His teaching interests are in operations management, research, business analytics and project management. His research is multidisciplinary and combines his background and interests in management, engineering, computer systems and applied mathematics. He has received the School of Business Ackerman Scholarship Award twice, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, Outstanding Undergraduate teaching Award and the Distinguished Service Award. He teaches MBA, EMBA and undergraduate courses.