Dr. Julie Hays, 52, a member of the Opus College of Business faculty, died suddenly on Nov. 11, 2007.

 “Julie Hays exemplified the values we share as scholar-teachers,” said Dr. Christopher Puto, dean of the Opus College of Business. “She cared deeply about students and their learning experience, and she was an accomplished scholar who was well respected by her peers. We miss her deeply. Our hearts and prayers go out to her family.”

A native of St. Paul, Hays earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, an M.B.A. from St. Thomas in 1982 and a Ph.D. in operations and management science from the University of Minnesota. She was a member of St. Thomas’ Decision Sciences Department and was vice chair of the Opus College of Business faculty.

She taught courses in operations management and statistics at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Her research focused on service quality and service operations management, including research on service guarantees that was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Hays also was involved in research related to pedagogy, teaching and learning, and published articles in academic and practitioner journals. She received the 1998 Juran Fellowship award from the Juran Center for Leadership in Quality at the University of Minnesota. One of the most recent scholarly efforts is the book Healthcare Operations Management, with co-author Daniel McLaughlin, program director for the Center for Business Excellence at the Opus College of Business, which will be published in May 2008.

Survivors include her husband, Kevin, a 1976 St. Thomas alumnus, of Shoreview; daughter Abby, a St. Thomas sophomore; son Jacob, who graduated from St. Thomas in May 2007; and daughter Jessie, who graduated from St. Thomas in May 2005.