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Richard Edwards

Distinguished Professor and Chancellor Emeritus, Rutgers – New Brunswick

Ph.D., SUNY at Albany

Dr. Edwards's research interests include nonprofit and public management, international social work, and social work education.

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Dr. Richard L. Edwards is Chancellor Emeritus of Rutgers University–New Brunswick and University Professor.  Dr. Edwards served as Chancellor of Rutgers–New Brunswick from 2014 to 2017, a pivotal moment in the university’s history, with its entrance into the Big Ten and Big Ten Academic Alliance, the integration of the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and the university’s historic 250th anniversary.  Prior to his appointment as Chancellor, Dr. Richards served as Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs from 2011 to 2014.

Among the hallmarks of his administration is a commitment to improving the student experience, both in and out of the classroom.  He enacted several task forces and committees to review and make recommendations for enhancing various aspects of the campus experience, ranging from broadening conversations about inclusion and racial climate on campus to exploring ways to improve the experiences of first-year, transfer and non-traditional students. 

Edwards, who came to Rutgers in 2005 as dean of the School of Social Work, is a scholar, educator, and administrator in social work education and professional practice.  Over a four-decade career, he 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.  He is past president of the National Association of Social Workers and has written extensively on issues related to social work education and nonprofit and public management.  Edwards served as interim president of Rutgers from July 1 to August 31, 2012.

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. He 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.

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.)

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