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Robert Andrews claims he’s now officially retired, but you’d never know it. “I believe in staying active, staying involved,” he says. “My grandfather retired at 65 and watched TV. I saw his mental and physical health decline.”

There seems to be no danger of that happening to Andrews, who has picked up two prestigious awards in the past two years. In 2019, he received the Dennis E. Grawoig Distinguished Service Award from the Decision Sciences Institute. The award honors a DSI member who, over a period of years, “has selflessly provided service to the Institute both in publicly recognized roles and behind-the-scenes.”

The very next year, he took home the University of Alabama Paul W. Bryant Alumni-Athlete Award “for character, contributions to society, professional achievement and service.” As a student-athlete, he was selected MVP of the Crimson Tide basketball team for two seasons and Helms Foundation All American in 1965. Andrews also won honors at the 1966 SEC meet for the outdoor track team.

The common denominator:  providing opportunity for others to move forward. It’s one of Andrews’ goals in life — first realized at Alabama as an assistant coach and math teacher, then carried forward as coach of the freshman basketball team and assistant professor at Virginia Tech, and after that, as head coach of the Division I European League team in Le Mans, France. Andrews fully realized his mission as associate professor and president of the Faculty Senate at Virginia Commonwealth University.

As he explains it, “Using data to obtain information that can assist with decision making is crucial to our future. I’ve been about trying to provide a quality education for a diversity of people. VCU has been a great place for me to be to do that, and decision analytics is a great resource in making business schools more effective.”

Steve Custer, current director of the VCU Master of Decision Analytics – Professional Track, says he owes a lot to Andrews. “Bob was director of the program that evolved into this one. He’s the one who started the train moving. He put together the group teaching statistics in the School of Business. He encouraged everyone to make presentations at conferences, which was good exposure for us. He’s still doing that work. In fact, he just returned from a conference and he’s already talking about the next one. He’s a huge benefit to VCU.”


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