Roland Rust is an American business professor, author and consultant, whose expertise is service and customer-focused management. He is also a runner and running coach.
Rust is Distinguished University Professor and holds the David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park , the first business professor to be named a Distinguished University Professor at Maryland. He is one of two people who have been named a Fellow of both the American Marketing Association and the European Marketing Academy.
He founded the annual Frontiers in Service Conference as well as the Journal of Service Research. He is Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Service and the Center for Complexity in Business. He holds a visiting position at Erasmus University  and is an International Research Fellow at Oxford University . His lifetime achievement honors include the AMA Irwin McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator Award, inaugural Fellow of the AMA, INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Fellow, the Converse Award, the Distinguished Marketing Educator Award from the Academy of Marketing Science, and career awards in the areas of service marketing, , marketing research, marketing strategy, advertising, and statistics, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchatel in the field of economics.
His articles and books span the fields of marketing, service management, advertising, psychology, sociology, computer science, information systems, engineering, operations research and management . He is a former Editor of the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Service Research, and is currently Editor of the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM). He has a global consulting practice, and comments on service issues on television, radio, and in the press.
Rust earned a BA in Mathematics (Phi Beta Kappa) at DePauw University, and an MBA and PhD in Business Administration at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and Vanderbilt University prior to coming to Maryland.
At DePauw University, Rust set 12 school records in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track, and has been inducted into DePauw’s Athletic Hall of Fame. As a Masters runner, Rust has finished 2nd once and 3rd several times in USATF National Masters championships in his age group, in track and road competition in distances ranging from 3000 meters to 10,000 meters. A disciple of the late New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard, Rust has coached eight national age-group champions in track and triathlon. He founded the Nashville Racers, and currently heads DC Elite, which he founded in 2013.