Monday, August 23, 2021

Frank Schmidt, emeritus professor of management & entrepreneurship at the Tippie College of Business and one of the University of Iowa’s most cited researchers, died suddenly of a heart attack on Saturday, Aug. 21. He was 77.

Schmidt’s concepts of validity generalization (VG) and meta-analysis have had a tremendous impact on the applications of psychology, and he was a pioneer in the field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the study of human behavior in the workplace. A prolific researcher, his work has been cited more than 76,000 times by other scholars in their work. His h-index, a measure of a scholar’s influence, is 98, which puts him seventh among all University of Iowa-affiliated researchers.

Schmidt published more than 200 journal articles and book chapters with more than 100 of them in top-tier journals such as Psychological Bulletin, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Personnel Psychology.

“Frank was a legendary scholar, devoted mentor, and meticulous innovator of research methods,” said Amy Kristof-Brown, dean of the Tippie College of Business. “His work with co-authors, which included many Ph.D. students who became award winning scholars, shaped the field of meta-analysis across all disciplines.”

Schmidt joined the college in 1984 as the Ralph L. Sheets Distinguished Professor and retired as the Gary C. Fethke Chair in Leadership in 2012. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Schmidt graduated from Bellarmine University before earning his graduate degrees from Purdue University. He was a member of the faculty at Michigan State University and held a research position at the Personnel Research and Development Center at the U.S. Civil Service Commission for 11 years before joining the faculty at the University of Iowa.

Schmidt was a fellow of the American Psychological Association and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14). He was president of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association (Division of Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics). Highly honored for his work, a sampling of his awards includes the Dunnette Prize for Contributions to Individual Differences Research from the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, the Ingram Olkin Award for contributions to meta-analysis methods from the Society for Research Synthesis Methods, and the Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award for Applications of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation. He served on numerous editorial boards in his career including the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Human Resource Management Review, and many others.

A full listing of his awards and editorial boards can be found online at