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Richards Elected to Council of Graduate Schools Board of Directors

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 17, 2010

Harry Richards, dean of the Graduate School, has been elected to the Council of Graduate Schools´┐Ż board of directors for a two-year term.

Harry Richards, dean of the Graduate School, has been elected to the Council of Graduate Schools’ board of directors for a two-year term.

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is the only national organization in the United States dedicated solely to the advancement of graduate education and research. Its mission is to advance graduate education to ensure the vitality of intellectual discovery and to promote an environment that cultivates rigorous scholarship.

“I am honored and excited to serve the council during this challenging period for graduate education.  Our ability to compete globally as a nation hinges on a system of high quality graduate education,” Richards says. “It is imperative that education, business and government leaders work together to ensure that our graduates are prepared to lead in the 21st century.  I am pleased that my colleagues have entrusted me with this opportunity.”

CGS membership includes more than 500 universities in the U.S. and Canada, and 16 universities outside North America. CGS institutions annually award more than 95 percent of all U.S. doctorates and more than 78 percent of all U.S. master's degrees.

“Your selection is a reflection of the confidence that the membership has in your leadership abilities,” Debra W. Stewart, president, wrote in her notification email to Richards.

The Graduate School dean, who came to UNH in 1979, was appointed to his current position in 2004 after serving as assistant and associate dean.  Richards has co-directed the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) efforts to develop and disseminate academic programs in college teaching and was an early advocate and leader in the national Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program sponsored by Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools.

As campus coordinator for the Engineering Education Scholars Program, an NSF funded project with Syracuse and Howard universities, Richards facilitated the preparation of engineering doctoral students and recent graduates for faculty roles. Most recently he was PI on the CGS and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) demonstration project on the Responsible Conduct of Research. 

Richards has been active on the executive committee of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) since 1995 and served two terms as secretary-treasurer and two terms as president. He currently serves on the CGS/COE McNair Program advisory committee and on the CGS/UMI dissertation award committee in the social sciences.

In his career at UNH, Richards has coordinated the Graduate School transition from paper to an electronic records system; the development of a campus-wide program review process for graduate and undergraduate programs in cooperation with the senior vice provost for undergraduate education; the expansion of graduate programs on the university’s urban campus in Manchester; and has overseen the development of numerous graduate degree and certificate programs. Also, he has led the development of policy related to five-year and dual degree programs.

Richards initiated a scholarship program for part-time students and was instrumental in securing a health benefit plan for graduate assistants at the university. He also has developed a number of awards to recognize outstanding teaching and scholarship by graduate students including a graduate faculty mentor award. Currently Richards serves on the academic integration team for the UNH School of Law.

In addition to his focus in enhancing the preparation of the next generation of faculty and the professional development of students, Richards also pursues the study of public policy and the politics of higher education.

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