Saturday, October 16, 2021
Donald L. Kirkpatrick, PhD: March 15, 1924 - May 9, 2014 Minimize

Donald Kirkpatrick

Dr. Donald L. Kirkpatrick was Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin and Honorary Chairman of Kirkpatrick Partners until his passing in May of 2014.

Don is credited with creating the Kirkpatrick Model, the most recognized and widely used training evaluation model in the world. The four levels were developed in the 1950s, around the time he wrote his Ph.D. dissertation, Evaluating a Human Relations Training Program for Supervisors.

Don held B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He spent the majority of his professional career at the Management Institute of the University of Wisconsin. He taught managers at all levels the principles and techniques of many subjects, including Coaching, Communication, Managing Time, Managing Change, Team Building and Leadership.

In industry, Don served as Training Director for International Minerals and Chemical Corp. and Human Resources Manager of Bendix Products Aerospace Division.

Don was a past national president of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the recipient of Gordon Bliss and “Lifetime Achievement in Workplace Learning and Performance” awards. He was a member of Training Magazine’s Hall Of Fame. In 2007, Don received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asia HRD Congress.

Don was the author of seven management inventories and seven books, including the 3rd edition of Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels, which has become the basis for evaluation all over the world. His other books include: Implementing the Four Levels, Transferring Learning to Behavior, Developing Employees Through Appraisal and Coaching, 2nd edition (2006); How Conduct Productive Meetings (2006); and Managing Change Effectively (2002).

Don was the Board Chairman of South Asian Ministries, an active member of Gideons International and a Senior Elder at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. His hobbies included fishing, tennis, golf, big band and classical music, directing church choirs and writing his annual family Christmas poems.

In May of 2011, Don retired from public speaking and began using his musical and literary talent to write songs. To hear his songs, go to In May of 2014, he passed away peacefully with close family by his side. Click here to read his obituary and to see some of our favorite photos of Don.

Download Don's Biography (.pdf)

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