Donald G. Morrison

February 26, 1939

Brief Biography

Morrison Presidential Gallery Photo

Donald G. Morrison was the thirty-eighth President of The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS). Morrison has held numerous editorial positions with TIMS and the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), including founding editor of Marketing Science. Morrison is a lifelong fan and practitioner of athletics; growing up in Detroit he played a variety of sports. He was captain of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology track team and competed in the long jump.

When he graduated from MIT, Morrison moved to Stanford University and completed one year of study with the university's MBA program. He was part of Stanford's very first operations research PhD cohort that included William Pierskalla and Arthur Geoffrion. The idea for Morrison's dissertation came from a summer job he had at the Ford Motor Company. He subsequently got on the ground floor of serious probability modeling and statistics in marketing.

Morrison went on to spend twenty-two years at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business. During his Columbia years, he had the opportunity to try out real world applications of marketing sciences. Morrison worked with and consulted for advertising agencies, marketing research firms and some corporate marketing research groups. In 1988 he relocated to the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles where he is the William Leonhard Professor of Management. Morrison takes pride in the numerous students he has taught and supervised over his academic career. In his words, “you give them [the students] roots and then wings; it’s rewarding to watch them grow as scholars.” For his dedication as a teacher, Morrison was presented with the American Marketing Association/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator of the Year Award in 2002.

In addition to being an accomplished professor, Morrison has led a significant career as an OR and marketing researcher. His research interests have including statistics, probability, sports, and consumer behavior. Morrison has focused heavily on the application of statistics, and has served as a consultant to various firms and government agencies. He has also been called in as an expert statisticial witness on numerous legal cases. In 1970, he co-authored Stochastic Models of Buying Behavior, uniting customer trends with probabilistic studies. He has published more than 90 articles in refereed journals.  

Morrison has also served as an academic trustee of the Marketing Science Institute and as a member of the review panel for the National Science Foundation. In addition, he was on the editorial boards of the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Marketing. From 1983-1990, Morrison served as editor-in-chief of TIMS’ flagship publication, Management Science.

Morrison has never abandoned his love of sports and was an initial proponent of sports analytics before the term was used. His paper on the optimal time to pull the goalie when you are down one goal was adopted by the Los Angeles Kings (NHL). He currently serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative for UCLA’s intercollegiate sports program, a position he has held since 1996. In this capacity, he has had to deal with such issues as securing the academic integrity of the school’s athletic department. Morrison has thrice served as president of the Pacific-12 Conference (formerly the Pacific-10), most recently in 2011-2012. He and his wife Sherie have endowed several athletic scholarships and have provided funds for academic/athletic awards over the past decade.

Other Biographies

INFORMS. Miser-Harris Presidential Gallery: Donald G. Morrison. Accessed March 17, 2015. (link)

UCLA Anderson School of Management. Marketing Faculty: Morrison. Accessed March 17, 2015. (link)


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, BSME 1961

Stanford University, PhD 1965


Academic Affiliations

Key Interests in OR/MS

Application Areas

Oral Histories

Don Morrison (2015) Interview by Peter Horner, April 11, 2015.  Video by Jonathan Gonzalez, edited by E. J. Cornelius,  Huntington Beach, CA

NOTE:  The video chapter transcripts below are searchable, with search results displayed as marks on the time bar above the search box.  Click a mark to jump to the search word or phrase in the video and transcript, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that point in the video.

Jump to Chapters

Chapter 1: Don's Brief Biography
Chapter 2: How Sports Influenced Don's OR Career
Chapter 3: Don at MIT
Chapter 4: Don's Stanford Years
Chapter 5: Summer Jobs at Ford
Chapter 6: Industry or Academia?
Chapter 7: Marketing Science Research and Consulting
Chapter 8: Views on Analytics and MBA Majors
Chapter 9: Stochastic Models of Buying Behavior
Chapter 10: Pulling the Goalie
Chapter 11: Faculty Athetics Representative and Conference President
Chapter 12: Family and Students
Chapter 13: Working at TIMS

Memoirs and Autobiographies


Morrison D. G. (1994) Commentary by Donald G. Morrison. Pras L. L., ed. in Research Traditions in Marketing, 21-23. Kluwer Academic Press: Boston, MA. 

Awards and Honors

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Fellow 2002

AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award 2002

Professional Service

The Institute of Management Sciences (TIMS), 1991-1992

Selected Publications

Morrison D. G. (1966) Testing brand-switching models. Journal of Marketing Research, 3(4): 401-409.

Morrison D. G. (1967) Measurement problems in cluster analysis.Management Science, 13(12): B-775.

Morrison D. G. (1969) On the interpretation of discriminant analysis. Journal of Marketing research, 6(2): 156-163.

Mass W. F., Montgomery D. B., & Morrison D. G. (1970) Stochastic Models of Buying Behavior. The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.

Morrison D. G. (1972) Upper bounds for correlations between binary outcomes and probabilistic predictions. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 67(337): 68-70.

Morrison D. G. (1979) Purchase intentions and purchase behavior. The Journal of Marketing, 16(1): 65-74.

Colombo R., Morrison D. G., & Schmittlein D. C. (1987) Counting Your Customers: Who-Are They and What Will They Do Next?. Management science, 33(1): 1-24.

Morrison D. G. & Schmittlein D. C. (1988) Generalizing the NBD model for customer purchases: What are the implications and is it worth the effort?. Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, 6(2): 145-159.

Bucklin R. E., Morrison D. G., & Siddarth S. (1995) Making the Cut: Modeling and Analyzing Choice Set Restriction in Scanner Panel Data. Journal of Marking Research, 32(3): 255-266.

Drolet A. L. & Morrison D. G. (2001) Do we really need multiple-item measures in service research?. Journal of Service Research, 3(3): 196-204. 

Additional Resources

Feinberg P. & Gilberg R. (2008) A Look at the Sporting Side of Prof. Don Morrison. June 18. UCLA School of Management Media Relations.