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New education dean is no stranger to UConn
June 20, 1997

Richard Schwab, a native of East Haddam and UConn graduate, has been named dean of the nationally rated School of Education. Schwab, who also will be a full professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, will join UConn August 1 from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he is dean of education.

"I am very enthusiastic about Richard Schwab's coming to the University. He will bring to the School of Education a record of accomplishment as well as energy and enthusiasm; he will give it strong leadership," said Mark Emmert, chancellor and provost for university affairs, who announced the appointment after a national search.

"Richard Schwab is a person who has had a lot of experience in being a dean and identifying resources to achieve certain programs he's been working on at Drake," said Ross MacKinnon, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who chaired the search committee. "I think he will be aggressive in setting an agenda for our School of Education and proceeding toward implementing it. He will work with other deans as a full partner in cooperative ventures with other schools."

Schwab said he hopes to secure UConn's place among the top 20 undergraduate and graduate schools of education in the country. "It has all the components: a really talented faculty, an excellent five-year teacher education program, a good history of research and scholarship, and a fine reputation for outreach and teaching," he said. "My job is to bring it to the next level."

The School of Education was 48th of 191 in this year's U.S. News and World Report ranking of the nation's best graduate school education programs.

Schwab is a graduate of UConn's master's and doctoral programs in educational administration. MacKinnon said Schwab's Connecticut background will be an advantage in his new job: "Although he is new and has a lot of outside experience, he knows a lot of people who are pretty well placed in K-12 education in Connecticut because they went to school with him. His connections are ready-made."

During his tenure as dean at Drake, Schwab raised the education school's grant revenue threefold, from $2 million to $6 million; created partnerships with a number of local schools in central Iowa; and integrated technology into the schools. Under his leadership, the placement rate for graduates of Drake's teacher education program increased from 70 percent to nearly 100 percent. Schwab also has been active in the creation of professional development programs for teachers and administrators through distance learning, and has hosted a television show on educational issues.

"He's a highly talented administrator," said Barbara Gitenstein, provost at Drake University. Gitenstein says Schwab's involvement on campus included participating in discussions about faculty roles and helping develop a new general education curriculum for the university, based on portfolios and outcomes.

Schwab has been a professor of educational administration at Drake since 1990, and has served as dean since 1993. Previously, he taught for 10 years at the University of New Hampshire. From 1974 to 1977, he taught history in the public schools in Chelmsford, Mass. Schwab earned his bachelor's degree from Boston University.