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University of Connecticut Neag School of Education Department of Educational Leadership

Photo of Richard Schwab

Richard L. Schwab

  • Dean, Neag School of Education
  • Raymond Neag Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership

Richard L. Schwab’s experience in education has spanned four decades, beginning with a job in Chelmsford, Mass. as an eighth grade history teacher. He went on to earn both a master’s degree and doctorate in educational administration at UConn, before spending 10 years on the education faculty at the University of New Hampshire. He spent the next eight years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he served three years as head of its Department of Educational Administration, and then five years as Dean of the School of Education. In 1997, he returned to his alma mater to serve as Dean of the Neag School of Education.

During his 12 years as dean, Dr. Schwab worked with faculty to craft and implement a strategic plan to raise the quality of programs, research and scholarship, while moving the school toward its goal of becoming one of the top education schools in the country. The effort sparked the interest of Ray Neag, a UConn alum and successful entrepreneur, who decided to make what he called a “strategic investment” in the School and in public education. His $21 million gift to the School in 1999 was, at the time, the largest any school of education had ever received, and today remains the largest in UConn’s history.

Professor Schwab’s commitment to education reaches the national, regional and international levels. He is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and was recently presented with its Margaret B. Lindsey Award for Distinguished Research in Teacher Education. He teaches each summer at AACTE’s New Deans Institute and is past president of AACTE’s Connecticut chapter. He serves on the National Commission on Teaching America’s Future and has been elected to its board of directors. He is past president of the Council of Academic Deans for Research Education Institutions and has held leadership positions in numerous state and regional education organizations. He is a member of the New England Council of Presidents (NECOP) and has served as president and held several other offices of the Northeastern Educational Research Association. Since 2005, he has served on the Quality Assurance Team for Teacher Education in the state of Qatar, United Arab Emirates.

At the state level, Dr. Schwab serves on a task force appointed by the state legislature to overhaul the Connecticut Beginning Teacher Assessment process. He is a founding member of the Connecticut Alliance for CommPACT Schools, a historic collaborative involving the state’s two teachers unions, the three organizations representing school administrators and superintendents, and UConn’s Neag School of Education. The Alliance’s CommPACT school reform model, funded by the state, is currently being piloted in eight schools in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, and Waterbury.

On campus, he has served as a member of the University Senate and has chaired searches for a number of administrative posts, including the deans of the School of Business and of the College of Continuing Studies, and for the new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He led the effort to expand technology capability and use across campus to enhance student learning, and co-chaired the University Master Planning Committee.

Over the years, Dr. Schwab has researched, presented and published on issues related to teacher preparation, teacher and administrator education reform, educational technology, and occupational stress and health in educational organizations; most recently, he collaborated with Neag faculty on the book, Portrait of a Profession: Teaching and Teachers in the 21st Century, for which he served as co-editor.

In 2006, he was honored by his undergraduate alma mater, Boston University, with the Ida M. Johnston Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service, and in 2008, received an award for Outstanding Service and Support from the Neag School of Education Alumni Society.

  • Educational Background:
    • Ph.D. Educational Administration, University of Connecticut, (1980)
    • M.A. Educational Administration, University of Connecticut, (1978)
    • B.S. Social Studies Education, Boston University, (1974)
  • Selected Publications/Presentations:
    • Moss D.M., Glenn, W.J. and Schwab R.L. Eds. (2005) Portrait of a Profession: Teaching and Teachers in the 21st Century. Praeger Publishers, Westport, Connecticut.
    • “What Education Researchers Want to Know About Student Learning and What Policymakers Want to Know about Student Learning: Are We on the Same Page?
    • “Building a Viable State Association for Colleges of Teacher Education” symposium participant at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. Washington, DC.
    • “Managing Change in Higher Education” invited presentation to the Carnegie Corporation’s Teachers for a New Era conference on Reform in Teacher Education, San Francisco, CA.
    • Schwab R.L., DeFranco, T and McGivney Burrell J. (2003) Preparing Future Teacher Leaders: Experiences from the University of Connecticut's Five Year Teacher Education Program, Educational Perspectives, November, 36, 1&2.
    • “Conducting Retention Studies in Teacher Education” Presentation to the Council of Academic Deans in Research Education Institutions, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    • “Educational Implications of the National Evaluation of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families” Discussant, Northeastern Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Kerhonkson, NY.
    • Schwab R.L. & Foa L. (2001). Integrating Technologies Throughout Our Schools. Kappan. April, 82, 8 pp. 620-626.
    • Schwab, R.L., (2000). Technology and the Changing Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher Educators. In Log In or Log Out: Technology in 21st Century Teacher Education. Switzer, T. Editor. AACTE Press, Washington D.C.
    • Johnson M., Schwab R. L., & Foa L. (1999). Redefining the Process and meaning of Teaching with Technology. Theory Into Practice. Winter, 38,1.