Richard L. Edwards, is a well-known scholar, educator and administrator in social work education and professional practice. On August 1, 2005, he assumed the position of dean of the School of Social Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. On July 1, 2011 he was appointed as the interim vice president for academic affairs.
In a career spanning 40 years, Edwards has held deanships at Case Western Reserve University's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he served as Interim Provost and where he most recently had been Alumni Distinguished Professor of Social Work. He is a past president of the National Association of Social Workers. He has written extensively and consulted widely on issues related to social work education and nonprofit and public management.
As an administrator, Edwards has been an effective advocate and innovative leader for his institutions. Under his leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1992 to 2000, new doctoral and certificate programs were developed at the School of Social Work, while external funding for research, training and technical assistance increased dramatically. Under his leadership at Rutgers over the past four years, Edwards led the development of a new Institute for Families and four new academic centers.
As a scholar, Edwards has studied the management and organizational effectiveness of public-sector and nonprofit organizations. He has been a visiting professor at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and served as a consultant for the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute on the development of gerontology education for professionals in 18 central and eastern European countries. In 2008, Edwards spent several weeks at Ben Gurion University in Israel as a Fulbright Senior Specialist.
Edwards is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and served as editor-in-chief of the 19th edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work, published in 1996. He serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals and served for several years as associate editor for North America for Social Work Education: The International Journal.
Edwards has been honored as a distinguished alumnus by the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, where he received his master's degree, and the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany, where he earned his doctorate. He holds a bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Illinois.
The Rutgers School of Social Work, headquartered in New Brunswick, is one of the largest social work educational programs in the U.S., with approximately 1400 students. The School also serves students from the university's campuses in Camden and Newark. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work and dual degree programs in conjunction with the law schools in Newark and Camden and with the Princeton Theological Seminary, along with several certificate programs.
Selected Recent Publications:
Huang, C., & Edwards, R. L. (2009). The Relationship between State Efforts and Child Support Performance. Children and Youth Services Review. 31. 241-248.
Huang, C., Edwards, R. L., & Nolan, R. B. (2008). State Performance on Child Support Enforcement Under CSPIA. Journal of Policy Practice. 7(4). 280-297.
Edwards, R. L. and J. A. Yankey. (Editors). (2006). Effectively managing nonprofit organizations. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Reid, P.N. & Edwards. R. L. (2006). The purpose of a School of Social Work?An American perspective. Social Work Education: The International Journal. 25(5), 461-484.
Edwards, R. L., Shera, W., Reid, P. N., and York, R. (2006). Social work practice and education in the US and Canada. Social Work Education: The International Journal. 25(1), 28-38.
D'Aprix, A., Dunlap, K., Abel, E., Edwards, R., (2005). Goodness of fit: Career goals of MSW students and the aims of the social work profession in the United States. Social Work Education: The International Journal.
Edwards, R., Smokowski, P. R., Sowers, K.M., Dulmus, C.N., & Theriot, M.T. (2004). Abuse of power: School personnel who bully students. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work: Advances in Practice, Programming, Research, and Policy 1(2/3). 111-129.
Carlton-LaNey, I., R. L. Edwards, and P. N. Reid, (Editors), (1999). Preserving and strengthening small towns and rural communities. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Edwards, R. L., E. A. Benefield, J. A. Edwards, and J. A. Yankey. (1997) Building a strong foundation: Fundraising for nonprofits. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Edwards, R. L., (Editor-in-Chief.). (1995). Encyclopedia of social work, Nineteenth Edition. Washington, DC: NASW Press, (3 Volumes - 2690 pp.)