In Memoriam: Professor and Director Ronald E. Taylor
Ronald E. Taylor, former professor and director of the Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations, passed away Sept. 11, 2023.
Taylor came to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in January 1984 after earning his PhD in advertising from the University of Illinois. He was head the Department of Advertising and when the current Tombras School of Advertising and Public Relations was created during the College of Communication and Information’s reorganization in the early 2000s. During his tenure, the department was consistently rated by US News and World Report as one of the top eight advertising graduate programs in the country. He was director of the school until 2011.
He was an active member of the American Academy of Advertising, where he served as secretary. In 2013, he was awarded the Academy’s Charles H. Sandage Award for Teaching Excellence, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to advertising education. Taylor was an ardent supporter and advocate for his faculty members and students, which was reflected in tremendous love and admiration of him by them. The professor and director had an imposing exterior and a genuinely warm and loving interior.
In his scholarship, he was a champion of paradigmatically qualitative research and a recognized leader in advertising message strategy. He is best known for his “Six Segment Strategy Wheel” conceptualization which he published in the Journal of Advertising Research in 1999.