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UMSI community mourns the loss of Associate Professor Emeritus Victor Rosenberg

Tuesday, 04/13/2021

Associate Professor Emeritus Victor Rosenberg, whose focus on entrepreneurship helped shape a generation of students at the U-M School of Information, died on Sunday, April 11 after a period of illness. He was 79.

“Throughout his time at UMSI, even into retirement, Victor remained a tireless and enthusiastic advocate for budding entrepreneurs  both in the classroom and as a mentor,” said University of Michigan School of Information Dean Thomas A. Finholt. 

Victor Rosenberg came to the University of Michigan in 1977. He had been an assistant professor of library science at the University of California at Berkeley and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1970.

At the School of Information, his courses included Technology for Information Management, Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry, Computer Programming, Information Policy and Computers in the Humanities.

In 1998, he spent a year as a Computer Research Association Fellow at the US Department of Commerce, assisting in the development of eCommerce policies.

Early in his career at Michigan, he displayed a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. He pioneered the teaching of entrepreneurship at the school and received permission from the university to market bibliographic producing software he had developed in his research, which led to the founding of his company, Personal Bibliographic Software, in 1980.

Maintaining his appointment half-time at the university, Rosenberg ran his company as CEO until 1996, when he sold it to ISI, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. The product was merged into the core technology of EndNote, which remains the world’s top-selling personal bibliographic product.

Returning to full-time faculty status after the sale of his company, Rosenberg continued to be a staunch advocate for the creation of an entrepreneurship curriculum at UMSI.

After his retirement in 2015, Rosenberg continued his engagement with the school, including serving as a mentor for the iCorps program, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative to move ideas from research to development; mentoring students in the UMSI entrepreneurship program; and participating as a member of the Office of the Vice President for Research’s conflict of interest committee.

“Just recently I had the pleasure of spending an hour with Vic on FaceTime,” said Dean Finholt. “Even though quite ill at the time, he retained the buoyant spirit and curiosity that made him such a great colleague  always eager to know what was going on at UMSI and how he could help. We will miss seeing Vic around North Quad and catching up on his latest travels and interests.”

Victor is survived by his wife, Valerie Winston Rosenberg, his two children Noah Rosenberg (Shannon Roche) and Elizabeth Rosenberg Plimack (David Plimack) and four grandchildren, Maya and Alex Plimack, and Cole and Keira Rosenberg.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Victor Rosenberg may do so by making a contribution to:

Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
2245 S. State St., Ste 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734)769-0209

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County
312 W. Huron Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
(734) 662-2829

Michigan Theater Foundation
603 East Liberty Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 668-8463