Former Neag School of Education Dean Richard L. Schwab ’78 MA, ’80 Ph.D., was invested as a Neag professor on June 7. Longtime UConn donors Carol and Ray Neag ’56, who provided support for the professorship, were on hand for the investiture ceremony.
A professor of educational leadership, Dr. Schwab is director of the Institute of Urban School Improvement at the Neag School of Education.
During the ceremony, current Neag Dean Thomas DeFranco, Ph.D., proudly remarked: “He is a man of integrity and conviction, a consensus builder and, most of all, a man of vision. He believes in developing strong, positive relationships among faculty, students and staff, as well as helping them achieve their goals.”
When Dr. Schwab became dean in 1997, UConn’s School of Education was unranked in U.S. News & World Report. When he retired in 2009 to return to the faculty, the school was ranked 21st in the U.S. overall, 13th in elementary education, 17th in secondary education, 19th in curriculum and instruction, and 20th in special education. The school’s Kinesiology Department was also ranked No. 1 in the nation.
During Dr. Schwab’s tenure, the School of Education also received from Ray Neag the largest gift ever given to a U.S. school of education.
“As dean, he inspired the faculty to dream more, the students to learn more, and the school to become more,” Dr. DeFranco continued. “I know he will continue to inspire all of us in his new role.”
In addition to working at UConn, Dr. Schwab is a past president of the Council of Academic Deans at Research Education Institutions (CADREI), a national organization for research-oriented private and land grant schools/colleges of education. He has published extensively on issues relating to teacher education, educational technology, and occupational stress and health in educational organizations.
Before coming to UConn, Dr. Schwab was dean of the Drake University School of Education, head of Drake’s Educational Leadership Department at Drake, and professor and director of Field Experiences at the University of New Hampshire.
Dr. Casey Cobb, head of the Neag School’s Department of Educational Leadership, also provided remarks during the investiture ceremony. “I relish his contributions to date, but I am also excited about what the future brings.
“Our department – and, of course, the whole school – is on the cusp of some great things,” Cobb said, “and Rich will be right in the middle of it, if not leading it. He will be heavily involved in the Policy Center and many of its new initiatives, including a State Leadership Academy and a legislatively mandated study of the new teacher evaluation program. We’re honored to have a colleague like Rich, who is such as passionate advocate for what’s right in education,” Cobb said.
“We are grateful to have him in our department, grateful for his great contributions to the Neag School, and confident that more greatness is ahead,” Cobb concluded.
(Shawn Kornegay contributed to this article.)