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Distinguished Professor Emeritus Wayne Cascio Receives CU Board of Regents Distinguished Service Award

At the CU Denver Regent Awards Ceremony in May, 8 CU Denver faculty, donors, and alumni who received awards in 2021 and 2022 will be honored

April 26, 2022

Over the course of his colorful four-decade career at CU Denver, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Wayne Cascio has helped to shape thousands of students’ educational experiences as well as the human resources industry at large. His research, writing, and deep expertise in industrial-organizational psychology have taken him all over the world, landing him a 5-year stint as a member of a 4-person team at NASA whose task was to develop selection procedures for astronauts for the International Space Station, and as an expert witness in a landmark case that opened the door for women to join the New York City Fire Department. 

Wayne Cascio
Wayne Cascio

Cascio, who will be one of this year’s Board of Regents Distinguished Service Award recipients at a CU Denver Regent Awards Celebration ceremony in May, has traveled the globe to study and speak about critical management issues impacting organizations and their employees, but Colorado will always be home. 

“I joined CU Denver in August 1981 as a tenured full professor, and I never regretted that decision,” said Cascio. “Over the years, I’ve had many opportunities to go elsewhere, but the quality of life in Colorado and the freedom I’ve had to pursue my writing, research, and service interests kept me anchored to Denver.”

During his tenure, Cascio co-founded the CU Denver Business School, where he taught scores of students and recruited some of the university’s top talent. A natural storyteller, Cascio relies on real-world examples and firsthand insights to bring business management concepts to life in the classroom. 

Cascio’s 30-plus years research program on the effects of employment downsizing on the financial performance of companies and the physical and psychological costs of layoffs reaches well beyond the halls of CU. It has resonated with business leaders and decision makers throughout countries in North America; western, central, and eastern Europe; north and south Asia; Australia; and New Zealand.

Read More: Meet the Eight Regents Awards Recipients for 2021 and 2022 from CU Denver

“I’m proud to accept this award because it validates the impact of my work and its overall lesson; namely, that a broad and deep body of evidence shows that in leading organizations, senior leaders see their employees as assets to be developed, not just as costs to be cut,” explained Cascio. “Through published articles, books, and literally hundreds of presentations on six continents, I’ve come to realize the practical and theoretical importance of this line of research.”

For students and recent graduates preparing to make their first career move, Cascio has sage advice: Think carefully about what your ideal job might look like and consider factors beyond salary, including company culture, mission, location, and work-life fit. 

“With so many opportunities and openings, job seekers can afford to be selective,” Cascio recommended. “Do your homework on various organizations, ask questions, and look for a tight fit between a company’s culture and the kinds of things you care deeply about.”