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With a B.S. from Juniata, Professor Donaldson worked as a methods engineer and economic analyst for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company while also earning his M.A. in economics from the University of Akron. Questor Corporation hired him as the manager of planning for the home products division and later promoted him to director of product planning and research for the automotive division in Toledo. He returned to Juniata in 1979 to teach courses in business strategy, marketing and management, and continued his formal education, earning an M.B.A. from Syracuse University in 1982.

His experiences at Juniata have gone beyond the classroom as coordinator of the continuing education Certificate in Management program and through work with the college's Business Outreach Center. He has taught in the Global Business Strategy program in Penn State's Department of Energy, Environmental and Mineral Economics and in Saint Francis University's M.B.A. program, doing courses in business strategy and entrepreneurship.

Professor Donaldson's consulting work has included management training, strategic planning and marketing assistance to several area businesses, including a major full-service commercial bank, a foundry, a manufacturer, retail store chains, a regional service merchandiser, and not-for-profit agencies.

At Juniata he has served on and often chaired several faculty committees. For three years (1994-95 through 1996-97) he served full-time as Director of Institutional Planning and Research.

He was co-author of the 1988 Huntingdon County Economic Development Plan and contributed to the 1993 Lake Raystown Master Plan for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has written several cases for business classes, as well as articles and monographs on industrial reorganization, consumer behavior theory as it relates to choosing a college, international expansion strategies, venture capital, and Internet business models. He conducted workshops at one of Juniata's exchange partners, Humberside University in Hull, England, on using the case study method for teaching management. Professor Donaldson has become active in the North American Case Research Association and had his case "embryo" on the Altoona Railroaders Museum accepted for their 2004 annual meeting.

He and his spouse, Juniata professor of art Karen J. Rosell, live in the country north of Huntingdon with their three cats. He enjoys volleyball, model railroading, and gardening and tries to stay in shape through jogging.

Eric, Professor Donaldson's son from a previous marriage, graduated from Juniata in 1992 and is now a detective in the violent crimes unit on the Milwaukee Police Department. In June 2005, Eric married Tammy Mitsinicos, class of 1993.