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Frederic Widlak

  • Ph.D. / Professor
  • Professor
  • National-Louis University Higher School of Business

    Research interests

    and the development of human capital in Poland and Ukraine.conflict resolution in businessmanagers’ risk-taking and decision-makingworkplace bullyingMajor research interests are identity formation as a lifelong process


    Fred Widlak was born in Chicago, Illinois and educated through secondary school in the Chicago Public School System. He entered Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), majoring in Chemistry, Biology, and Psychology. Mr. Widlak continued study while employed as an assembly-line worker in manufacturing and food processing factories, and as a laboratory technician for Sherwin-Williams Paint Co., Corn Products Co., and Michael Reese Hospital. He received the Bachelor of Science degree from IIT in 1966 and entered the Graduate School of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, majoring in Psychology and Business Administration. Mr. Widlak continued study while employed as a security guard for General Electric Co., as a computer programmer for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., and as a teaching and research assistant for Marquette University. He received the Master of Arts degree from Marquette in January 1971, having entered the Graduate School of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in September 1970, majoring in Educational and Industrial Psychology. Mr. Widlak continued study while employed as a teaching and research assistant for Purdue, as an assistant professor for Indiana University in Indianapolis, as an evaluation research fellow at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and as a research administrator for the Indianapolis Health Department. In August 1983, Mr. Widlak received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Purdue University. Since then, he completed additional graduate coursework in Business Administration at Indiana University, in Information Systems at Keller Graduate School of Management, and in Human Resource Development at the University of Illinois. In July 1984, he was appointed Director of Field Research at National College of Education (NCE) in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Widlak was assigned the rank of Associate Professor and later became the Director of Graduate Management Programs for Illinois when NCE became National-Louis University (NLU) in 1990. In September 1992, Dr. Widlak was appointed Prorector for Academic Affairs at the Higher School of Business (WSB-NLU) in Nowy Sącz, Poland. This private, independent business college became a partner with National-Louis University to provide education in free enterprise and the market economy after the fall of the communist system in Poland. At this point he was the first United States citizen to become the chief academic officer of a collegiate institution in Poland. In 1994, Dr. Widlak completed his full-time duties in Poland and returned to the National-Louis University campus in Wheaton, Illinois, and later became an Assistant Dean in NLU’s College of Management and Business. Until September 2005, Dr. Widlak split his time between the U.S. and overseas, serving as the Director of NLU Programs in Poland and teaching a wide variety of live and online courses in management, statistics, and research methods. In 2004, he founded "Encouraging Enterprise", based in Krakow, an organization that conducts research, trains managers, and publishes articles and reports aimed at promoting economic progress in Poland. Dr. Widlak is currently a Professor Emeritus of NLU, a Professor in the Department of Organizational and Managerial Psychology at WSB-NLU, and the Academic Director of the NLU MBA Program at WSB-NLU. His major research interests are identity formation as a lifelong process, workplace bullying, managers’ risk-taking and decision-making, conflict resolution in business, and the development of human capital in Poland and Ukraine. He also studies the psychology of music, of gambling, and of religion and spirituality. His recreational interests are listening to classical music and opera and performing as a Country and Western singer.

    Professional experience


    Wyzsza Szkola Biznesu--National-Louis University

    September 2005 - Present

    Associate Professor

    National-Louis University

    July 1984 - August 2005(21 years)



    Purdue University

    September 1970 - August 1983(13 years)