Willliam J. Rothwell is a Professor of Workforce Education and Development Program in the College of Education at the University Park Campus of The Pennsylvania State University. In that capacity he oversees a graduate program in Human Resource Development and Employee Training, teaches graduate courses on the full range of performance technology issues, directs research projects, and consults with organizations in business, industry, government, and nonprofit sectors.
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.