Francine Lafontaine

About Francine Lafontaine

Interim Dean
William Davidson Professor of Business Administration
Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy

The University of Michigan Board of Regents appointed Francine Lafontaine as interim dean of the Ross School of Business effective from May 24, 2021, until the appointment of a permanent dean. She succeeds Edward J. Frey Dean Scott DeRue.


Dean Lafontaine is a distinguished scholar and educator with extensive experience as a faculty member, researcher, and administrator. She has a long and prestigious record of service to the university and to the business and economic community.

Following an appointment at Carnegie Mellon University, Dean Lafontaine joined the Michigan Ross faculty as an assistant professor in 1991. She was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and to professor in 2000. She held the Jack D. Sparks – Whirlpool Corporation Research Professor of Business Administration chair from 2005-2007, and has held the William Davidson Professor of Business Administration chair since 2010. From 2016-2020, she served as the senior associate dean for faculty and research. In 2020, she was appointed the associate dean for Business+Impact.

Dean Lafontaine served as the director at the Bureau of Economics for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 2014-2015. She was a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1993-2002, and she has been a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London since 2017. She has served as a co-editor of the Journal of Economic and Management Strategy since 1997, and as a co-editor of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization from 2006-2012. 

Dean Lafontaine’s numerous awards and honors include the 2020-21 Andy Andrews Service Award at the Ross School of Business; the senior faculty research award from Michigan Ross; and an honorary doctorate from the University of Rennes 1. In addition, in 2018-2019, she was elected as the president of the Society for Institutional and Organizations Economics. She also served as the president of the Industrial Organization Society from 2010-2012. 

Dean Lafontaine earned a BBA and an MSc in applied economics from the University of Montreal. She earned her PhD in economics from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are in the field of industrial organization, specifically focusing on issues related to vertical relationships, contracting, franchising, and entrepreneurship, along with related public policy issues.